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1 1 r L- ,i t 14 o o k % i« 1 ! ■» I ,i m \ i I . i ^ i I i / .i i i iMi 



Th* Center for Muilim Contribution to Civil! nation 




Al-Slra at-Nahawiyya 



Ibn Kathir 



Tnns] Jlcd by I'rofcvsor Trevor te Casuct 
Kcvkwed by Dr Muncer Fjiwd 



INTRODUCTION 

The work at hand in its original Arabic is, in a sense, the product of two minds: 
the author himself, Abu al~Fida J Imad al-Din Ismail b. 'Umar b. Kathlr, 1 and, 
to a lesser extent, its editor, Mustafa c Abd al-Wahid. In his introduction to the 
Arabic, c Abd al-Wahid points out that this work is in fact the culmination of a 
search for a biography of the Prophet Muhammad to which Ibn Kathlr makes 
reference in his celebrated exegesis of the Qur'an. There is, however, no extant 
copy of any such independent biographical study traceable to Ibn Kathlr. That 
such a study did exist is questionable, notwithstanding Ibn Kathlr's own allusion 
thereto. Given the unavailability of this particular work, 'Abd al-Wahid offers 
the theory that the biography in question is none other than that which appears 
in Ibn Kathlr's chief work, his opus on history, the al-Bidaya ma al-Nihaya? He 
argues that the sira section of the latter work is so comprehensive in its analysis 
of the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad as to almost obviate the need for 
any independent study of the same topic. The biography at hand, therefore, is the 
same as found in the al-Bidaya. Nevertheless, c Abd al-Wahid must be commended 
for the not inconsiderable task of editing and publishing this particular section as 
an independent unit, and appropriately titling it al-Sira al-Nabawiyya H Ibn 
Kathlr. 

Ibn Kathlr, whose ancestors are said to have been from Iraq, was himself 
born around the year 1313 ce/700 ah in the Boesra district of eastern 
Damascus. He died 74 years later, shortly after suffering a total loss of vision. 
He counts as his tutors such illustrious personages as the eminent historian 
Shams al-Dln al-Dhahabl, the Malikl jurist Abti Musa al-Qaraft, and the cele- 
brated Damascene polemicist and jurist Ibn Taymiyya al-Harrani. 

Pon Kathlr's was an era of the great political and social upheavals that posed 
many challenges to the Muslim world at large, and in particular, to its scholars. 
What with the scourge of the Tartars threatening the Very existence of Islam as a 
socio-political entity from the outside and the sectarian and ethnic strife created 
by the Maraluk revolution doing much the same from within, Ibn Kathlr and his 

1. According to R. Y. Curtis, Authoritative Interpretation of Classical Islamic To/sir: Critical 
Analysis of Ibn Kathlr's Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'-Apm. Unpublished dissertation. (Ann Arbor: 
University of Michigan, 1989) (21), classical bibliographers have cited Ibn Kathlr's name in more 
than one way. Al-Dhahabl for instance, in the supplement to his bibliography, Dhayl Tadhkirat al- 
Huffag, gives Ibn Kathlr's name as Ismail b. Umar b. Kathlr b. Daw b. Kathir b. Zar*. Other 
versions have been given, however, such as appears in al-Zirikli's al-AHam (1 : 320) and 'Umar Rida 
KahhaVs Mu<jam al-MtPallifin (1: 28). 

2. According to C. Brockelman in his GescMchte der Arabischen Literatur ii. 49, this historical 
work of Ibn Kathir is itself based on al-Birzali's chronicle. For more information see also, Ibn 
Hadjar al-Asqalani, al-Durar al-Katnina (Cod, Vienna, no. 1 172). 



CENTER FOR MUSLIM 

CONTRIBUTION TO CIVILIZATION 



Board 

' H.E. Sheikh Muhammad bin Hamad al-Thani 

Chairman of the Board of Trustees 

Professor Osman Sid-Ahmad Ismail al-Bili 
General Supervisor, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic History, University of Qatar 

Members 

1. H.E. Professor Muhammad Abdul-Rahim Kafud, Minister of Education and Higher 
Education, State of Qatar, 

2. Professor Ibrahim Saleh al-Nuaimi, former Rector, University of Qatar. 

3. Professor Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Director, Sira and Sunna Research Centre, University of Qatar. 

4. Professor Husam al-Khateeb, Professor of Arabic, University of Qatar. 

5. H.E. Dr Hasan al-Nima, Ambassador, State of Qatar. 

6. Dr Hasan al-Ansari, Amirj Diwan, State of Qatar. 

1. Dr Ahmad Muhammad Ubaidan (Treasurer) Observer, Advisory Council 
and Director-General, Trans-Orient Establishment (Doha, O^tar). 

Center's Advisors 

H.E. Dr Ezzeddin Ibrahim 

Cultural Advisor to H.H. the President of the U.A.E. 

Professor Raji Mahmoud Rammuny 

Director of the Center's Translation Committee in the U.S.A. 

Professor of Arabic Studies, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 

University of Michigan, U.S.A. 



INTRODUCTION xix 

The text itself suffers from a singular lack of the literary cadence that makes 
the historical works of al-Tabari, for instance, more of a pleasure to read. This 
seems to result from Ibn Kathir's efforts to present an authentic description of 
the life and times of the Prophet of Islam, and to submit such data as is found in 
the popular biographical works to the scrutiny of hadith literature. The flow of 
his text is, without question, a casualty of this exercise. But, as has been pointed 
out by a scholar of the Bible, "If we read biblical narrative (or in this case the sira 
material) as a story, we abandon its historical truth. If we read it as literature, we 
will often find literary art in it, but this art takes us further from truth." 6 Not 
that the method of Ibn Kathlr is altogether without its redeeming features: it 
certainly provides useful information to scholars, particularly those of the tradi- 
tional schools, who would prefer to have the classical sources for sira studies 
close at hand. 

The contents of works such as Ibn Kathir's sira are today regarded by many 
scholars of Islam as largely proto-historical, focusing, that is, on an era whose 
source documentation falls short of contemporary historiographical standards. 
It is, some say, the stuff of myth and legend, entwined in places with real his- 
torical data. For modern historians of Islam and the Middle East such as 
Maxime Rodinson, Patricia Crone et al., sira material contains, in the first 
instance, virtually "nothing of which we can say for certain that it incontestably 
dates back to the time of the Prophet". 7 And so, "when doing research about 
the life and work of the Prophet Muhammad", Rudi Paret warns, "we on prin- 
ciple distrust the traditional statement and explanation of facts given by later 
generations, in so far as they cannot be verified by internal evidence or in some 
other way." 8 

In addition, the work at hand may be seen by some to be no more than the 
product of one who had a variety of interests in the topic: one who was, at one 
and the same time, a historian, a scribe of "sacred biography", and also a devotee; 
the results of an endeavour such as Ibn Kathir's, therefore, risk being perceived 
as less than the product of dispassionate scholarship. 9 

This critical approach to Islamic historiography emerged gradually in the 
18th and 19th centuries. It was, understandably, only a matter of time before 
Albert Schweitzer's "quest of the historical Christ" would be appropriated by 

6. See Robin L. Fox, The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible (New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1992). 

7. This particular statement appears in the introduction to Maxime Rodinson's own biography 
of the Prophet. See Maxime Rodinson, Mohammed. Trans. Anne Carter (London, 1971). 

8. For the full text of this article see R. Paret, "Recent European Research on the Life and 
Work of Prophet Muhammad, Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Karachi, 1958. 

9. See in this regard G. D. Newby, The Making of the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction of the 
Earliest Biography of Muhammad (Columbia: University of Southern California Press, 1 989). 



xx THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

scholars of Islamic history in their search of the demythologized Muhammad; 
after all, this kind of appropriation of the analytical tools indigenous to studies of 
Christianity for the unravelling of the Islamic historical experience has become 
almost a convention in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. Yet the entire 
process is, I believe, fraught with questionable hypotheses, broad generalizations 
and a certain disregard for the spatio-temporal factors that shape ostensibly sim- 
ilar events. The application of New Testament heuristic tools such as Form and 
Redaction criticism to the corpus of information pertaining to the sira seems to 
betray a casual disregard for the Sitz im Leben of that very corpus. The life and 
work of Jesus is clearly different from that of Muhammad; the former's mission 
- if it can be described as such — is, for example, singularly devoid of the political 
and socio-economic objectives that informed that of the latter. It is, therefore, 
hardly surprising, as F. E. Peters in his recent article "The Quest of the 
Historical Muhammad" points out, that "even though a great deal of effort has 
been invested in research into the life and times of Muhammad, the results do 
not seem at all comparable to those achieved in research on Jesus, and the reasons 
are not at all clear." 10 

Ever since Gustav Weil presented his Mohammad der Prophet, sein Leben und 
seine Lehre in 1843, scholars have endeavoured to unravel the historical 
Muhammad using a variety of tools and strategems. Initially the material 
offered by Muslim historians such as Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham and more, import- 
antly, al-Tabarl was used almost unquestioningly by Christian scholars who, as 
Holt characterizes them, belonged mainly to "holy orders". 11 Their primary 
purpose, it would seem, was to provide a spirited defence of Christian theology 
and dogma against the claims of Islam and its adherents. The polemics that 
ensued were, in the main, reflective of the attitude that there was "not any 
rational inducement in all (that Muslims) believe or practice; insomuch that 
common sense must be discarded in order to embrace their system." 12 As for 
Muhammad, he was for many in that era "so coarse and barbarous an imposter, 
that there is not a man, who does not or cannot perceive plainly his cheating 
and corruption." 13 Humphrey Prideaux, the 17th-century lecturer in Hebrew 
at Oxford, captured rather succinctly the disposition of scholars vis-a-vis the 
study of Muhammad, in the rather long-winded title of his work, The true 
nature of imposture fully display' d in the life of Mahomet. With a discourse annex'd 

10. F E. Peters, "The Quest of the Historical Muhammad", in International Journal of Middle 
East Studies 23 (1991), 291-315. 

11. See P. M. Holt, "The Treatment of Arab Historians by Prideaux, Ockley, and Sale," in 
Historians of the Middle East, ed. B. Lewis and P. M. Holt (Oxford University Press, 1962), 
290^302. 

12. Ibid., 300. 

13. Ibid., 300. 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

for the vindication of Christianity from this charge. Offered to the consideration of 
the Deists of the present age. 1 * Later Simon Ockley, the somewhat less acerbic 
and brusque vicar of Swavesey in Cambridgeshire, authored The History of the 
Saracens, a "much more solid contribution to historical knowledge" as Holt 
puts it, but one that nonetheless did "not fail to follow common form by 
stigmatizing Muhammad in his first line, as 'the great Imposter' and then 
describing the Arab conquests as 'that grievous calamity'." 15 The liberalism that 
swept across Europe in the 18th century helped create a relatively less hostile 
attitude among European scholars towards Islam and its leader. We thus 
find during that era scholars such as Henri de Boulainvillier emerging. 
Boulainvillier, his theological affinities notwithstanding, assumed a decidedly 
more conciliatory tone in his biography of Muhammad, La vie de Mahomet. For 
him, Christianity is undoubtedly superior to Islam but he is, none the less, 
quite charitable in his evaluation of his subject, and says: "With respect to the 
essential doctrines of religion, all that (Muhammad) has laid down is true; but 
he has not laid down all that is true; and that is the whole difference between 
our religion and his." 16 

The quest itself began in earnest in the writings of the Belgian Jesuit, Henri 
Lammens. Whereas Theodor Noeldeke, prior to him, had largely failed in his 
attempts to unravel "the historical person of Muhammad", Lammens plodded 
on, and succeeded to some extent, in demonstrating "the possibility of the criti- 
ical analysis of the sir a". Lammens' efforts, however, were directed, not at a 
biographical study .of Muhammad per se, but rather on the search for the secret 
of his personal appeal and the rapid expansion of his message. "Muhammad to 
him, was a historical problem as well as a symbol of Islam's obstinacy and insen- 
sitiveness to the missionary influence." I7 

Lammens also happened to be among the first to argue, with some conviction, 
that the hadith traditions as well as the sira material on the Prophet are, on the 
whole, fictitious. This inaugurated a new perspective on Islamic history: the 
emphasis shifted from a critique of the actors in that history to the questioning 
of the source material itself. 

In the 19th century, the Hungarian scholar Ignaz Goldziher concluded that 
much of the hadith material was but a "pious fraud . . . invoked by every group 
(in early Islam) for every idea it evolved; . . . through solid chains (isnad) of tra- 
dition, all such matters acquired an unbroken tie to the 'Companions' who had 
heard those pronouncements and statutes from the Prophet or had seen him act 

14. Ibid., 291. 

15. Ibid., 311. 

16. P. M. Holt, The Treatment of Arab History, 300. 

17. K. S. Salibi, "Islam and Syria in the Writings of Henri Lammens", in Historians of the 
Middle East, ed. B. Lewis and P. M. Holt (Oxford University Press, 1962), 330-342. 



xxii THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

in pertinent ways." 18 Later Professor J. Schacht further explored the foregoing 
hypotheses by subjecting the isttad of a few legal traditions to an exhaustive 
scrutiny. He concluded that "hardly any of these traditions, as far as matters of 
religious law are concerned, can be considered authentic; they were put into cir- 
culation . . . from the first half of the second century onwards." 19 From this 
others were quick to extrapolate that even the biographical material is fraudu- 
lent. Crone thus states: "that the bulk of the sira . . . consists of second century 
hadiths has not been disputed by any historian, and this point may be taken as 
conceded." 20 

Not all Western scholars, however were as eager to jettison the classical 
material. W. M. Watt, writing in his Muhammad at Mecca, is clearly more 
reluctant than Crone, for example, to reject out of hand all such material, simply 
on the strength of Schacht's conclusion. He thus maintains that "In the legal 
sphere there may have been some sheer invention of traditions, it would seem. 
But in the historical sphere, in so far as the two may be separated, and apart 
from some exceptional cases, the nearest to such invention in the best early 
historians appears to be a 'tendential shaping' of the material . . ." 21 

It must be remembered, however, that traditional Muslim scholars display little 
awareness of the foregoing conundrum. The classical methodology of hadith 
criticism as practised by early Muslim scholars, with its close scrutiny of the isnad 
and the muffin of prophetic traditions, has, in the main, not been discredited, or 
even questioned, by Muslim scholars. If anything, that methodology has today 
been given a new lease of life by scholars such as Nasir al-Din al-Albanl, who, for 
example, regard the re-evaluation of the early sources as integral to what they call 
the Islamic renaissance {al-Nahda al-Islamiyya). Such a renaissance, Albanl argues, 
will fall far short of its goals, without a thoroughgoing purge of what remains of 
the spurious material that had crept into hadith and sira works during the turbu- 
lent epoch of early Islamic history. 22 He thus set himself the task of appraising 
scholars and the Muslim laity alike to those traditions that were deemed spurious 
by the regimen of classical hadith studies. His findings, which were first published 
under the tide "al-Ahadith al-Da 5 lfah wa al-Mawdir^ah" in a weekly column in 
the magazine al-Tamaddun al-hlami, now comprise a multi-volume work, 
appropriately titled Silsilah al-Ahadith al-DaHfah wa al-MawdifiahP 

18. See Goldziher's chapter on the development of the law in Islam in Introduction to Islamic 
Law and Theology, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981). 

19. J. Schacht, The Origins of 'Muhammadan Jurisprudence (Oxford University Press, 1959). 

20. Crone, Slaves on Horses, 14— IS. 

21. W. G. Watt, Muhammad at Mecca (Oxford Univesity Press, 1953), xiii. 

22. M. N. Al-Albani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da'ifah wa al-MamdU^ah. Vol. i. Damascus?: 
Manshurat al-Maktab al-Islami, 1376 h. 

23. Ibid., 6. 



INTRODUCTION xxiii 

Clearly not all contemporary scholars are as eager as Schacht et al. to ring the 
death knell on hadith literature as a tool for unravelling early Islamic history. 
Azami for one, in his studies on early hadith literature has attempted to show 
that hadith literature is indeed the richest source for the investigation of that era, 
for it provides, among other things, material for the understanding of the legal, 
cultural and religious ideas of those early centuries. He maintains that the 
theories of Margoliouth, Goldziher and more recently, Schacht can no longer be 
incontestably accepted given the recent discoveries of manuscripts or research. 
According to him: 

"In the period referred to, works on the biography of the Prophet and on other 
historical topics were in a very advanced stage. We find that work on the biography 
of the Prophet was begun by the Companions. c Abd Allah b. c Amr b. al- c As 
recorded many historical events. It is possible still to trace his work in the ahadith 
narrated by c Amr b. Shu'ayb (d. 118 AH) as he utilized his great grandfather ( Abd 
Allah b. c Amr's books. "Urwah (d. 93 AH) in his biography of the Prophet names 
his authority and most probably he had obtained the information in writing. 
There are works mentioned here and there on a single topic of the Sirah, e.g. 
Memorandum on the Servants of the Prophet, a book on the ambassadors of the 
Prophet to different rulers and chieftains with their negotiations. There are 
references to the collections of the Prophet's letters in a very early period." 24 

But it is, in fact, these very sources that Azami cites that have, through the use 
of contemporary literary and hermeneutical tools, been relegated to no more 
than "the rubble of early Muslim history". For Patricia Crone therefore, the 
"inertia" of material such as appears heretofore "comes across very strongly in 
modern scholarship on the first two centuries of Islam." 25 "The bulk of it", she 
argues, "has an alarming tendency to degenerate into mere rearrangements of 
the same old canon - Muslim chronicles in modern languages and graced with 
modern titles." 26 

Others, such as Juynboll, have strived to arrive at the inevitable solution inter- 
mediaire, "a conceivable position that could be taken between the two points of 
view represented respectively by Muslim and Western scholarship." 27 For him 
therefore, the hadith traditions "taken as a whole" do provide a fairly reliable 
rendition of early Islamic history, and "a judiciously and cautiously formulated 
overall view of what all those early reports . . . collectively point to, may in all 
likelihood be taken to be not very far from the truth of 'what really happened'." 2S 

24. Azami, Early Hadith, 7-8. 

25. See in this regard the introduction to her work, Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the 
Islamic Polity. (Cambridge University Press, 1980). 

26. Ibid., 13. 

27. See G. H. A. Juynboll, Muslim Tradition: Studies in chronology, provenance and authorship of 
early hadith. (Cambridge University Press, 1983), 1. 

28. Ibid., 7. 



xxiv THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Finally, the true value of this particular work probably resides outside the 
context of the foregoing academic debate, for as Gadamer explains in Truth and 
Method? 9 "The meaning of a literary work is never exhausted by the intentions 
of its author; as the work passes from one cultural or historical context to 
another, new meanings may be culled from it which were perhaps never antici- 
pated by its author or contemporary audience." 30 

Muneer Fareed 

Reviewer of Volumes II- IV 



29. H. G. Gadamer, Truth and Method (London, 1975). 

30. This is in fact an interpretation of Gadamer's thoughts as espoused by T. Eagleton in his 
study, Literary Theory: An Introduction (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), 71. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 

As has often been observed, translation is impossible, since the associations and 
emotive content of words in one language and culture differ from those of all 
others. Attempts at translation, therefore, inevitably represent strivings for 
compromise. While accuracy and precision are prime objectives, the ultimately 
necessary requirements for clarity and comprehension in the host language may 
require simplification or even omission from the original text. The dilemmas 
inherent in these conflicting objectives are at times irreconcilable, and this is 
particularly true when one is dealing, as here, with languages and cultures so far 
removed as ancient Arabic and modern English. This translation, composed in 
everyday, contemporary English, gives no impression of the ubiquitous rarities, 
oddities and archaisms of vocabulary and syntax that make the original 
extremely challenging to comprehend. It is hoped, of course, that the innumer- 
able compromises that this translation represents will be accepted as good-faith 
attempts to convey the spirit and purpose of the original in a form that readers of 
English will not find impossibly daunting. 

In some instances Ibn Kathlr repeats anecdotal ahadith with differing chains 
of authority that are almost identical in content; often, as will be seen, the 
accounts differ in only very few of their words and these are typically vocabulary 
rarities. While such variations between accounts may seem of scant interest to 
the Western reader, they have nevertheless been left complete and intact in this 
translation. Including them in full, as in the original work, gives a strong impres- 
sion of the care with which these anecdotes have been handed down and the 
impression of their likely authenticity is therefore enhanced. This seems espe- 
cially the case where the discrepancies involve vocabulary rarities that are 
synonymous. It seems that it would be just such words that would have been 
subjected to dispute, change or loss from memory. 

Ibn Kathlr's objective was to appear authoritative and discriminating in his 
choices of inclusion and discussion of specific akadith; to him the listing of all 
the names of his authorities and his comments on their reputations was an essen- 
tial component of this lectures. The give-and-take of oral lecturing — of which 
this work is essentially a record - would have enabled immediate verbal 
clarification. Our English text, in contrast, has to stand by itself, and to present 
an inherent and visible logic and clarity; it must also give some impression of the 
reliability of the Arabic text that is indicated by its complexity, and by the care 
with which the names of quoted sources are given and at times evaluated. 

A perpetual challenge in presenting this text has therefore been to leave the 
essential narratives clear and succinct while including yet simplifying the lines of 
authority on which their authenticity is based. The names of authorities quoted 



xxvi THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

have been included in full, since their identities were of prime importance for 
the initial 'readership' of this work as well as to students and researchers today. 
However, the exact nature and relative value of the means of transmission from 
authority to authority and the suggestions implied of Ibn Kathlr's preference for 
certain sources over others, have not been conveyed with exactitude, since com- 
mon English vocabulary is unable to convey some of the subtleties of the Arabic 
technical terms employed for this purpose. The essential completeness of the 
original text in this translation does, however, enable serious students of early 
Islamic materials to bring their own differentiation to bear by their knowledge of 
the reputations of the persons quoted. 

Certain words common in this text - such as Abu and surat — change in their 
form in Arabic to accord with basic grammatical rules. Here, however, to avoid 
confusion for those readers who do not know Arabic, they have been left in the 
form in which they are most commonly met. Initial hamza, moreover, has been 
omitted. Since early Arabic manuscripts, like the Arabic printed version of this 
text, are devoid of quotation marks, the identity of the narrator is sometimes 
unclear. Similarly, it is occasionally difficult to discern whether comments at the 
end of an account are those of the transmitting authority or of Ibn Kathir him- 
self. Footnotes referring to these and similar textual difficulties have been kept 
to a minimum, while brief parenthetical explanatory comments have sometimes 
been inserted to aid the general reader. 

Discriminating and knowledgeable readers and reviewers will no doubt find 
discrepancies and perhaps inaccuracies in this lengthy and demanding text, 
especially in the extensive poems quoted. For these the translator - and his 
reviewers, text editors and typesetters — apologize. But since this work offers 
intimate details not elsewhere available in English about Arabian history and the 
inspiration and leadership of Islam in its earliest formative period, it would seem 
unsatisfactory to leave it in a language and form accessible only to a small coterie 
of scholars. The evident religious historical and philosophical interest of this 
text suggests that all those associated with its production may properly take 
refuge and find consolation from criticism in the knowledge that 'to err is 
human'. To attempt the impossible, moreover, while perhaps foolhardy, is 
surely more laudable than to make no attempt at all. 

Trevor Le Gassick 
Ann Arbor, 2000 



VOLUME III 



THE YEAR 3 AH. 

Early that year the Najd expedition, known as the raid on Dhu c Amarr, took 
place. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned from the 
expedition to al-Sawiq, he remained for roughly the remainder of Dhu al-Hijja 
and then attacked Najd, seeking out Ghatafan; this expedition is known as that 
ofDhu<Amarr." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He left c Uthman b. c Affan in command of Medina." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He remained for all, or almost all, of Safar in Najd and 
then returned without being ambushed." 

Al-Waqidi stated, "News reached the Messenger of God (SAAS) that a force 
of Ghatafan fighters, from Banu Tha'laba, Ibn Muharib, had gathered at Dhu 
{ Amarr intending to attack him. He therefore left Medina on Thursday, 12th of 
Rabi* al-Awwal in 3 AH, placing ^Uthman b. c Affan in command of Medina. He 
was away for 1 1 days, and was accompanied by 450 men. 

"The bedouin fled from him away into the mountains. He travelled on until 
he reached a well known as Dhu ^Amarr, where he made camp. Much rain fell 
and the clothes of the Messenger of God (SAAS) were soaked. He dismounted 
beneath a tree there and hung out his clothes to dry, in full sight of the polytheists, 
who were keeping to themselves. 

"The polytheists then sent out one of their warriors, a man named Ghawrith 
b. al-Harith, or Du'thur b. al-Harith, telling him, 'God has enabled you to kill 
Muhammad!' 

"That man then went forth armed with a well-polished sword and reached the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). He stood before him, his sword drawn, and asked, 
'Muhammad, who will protect you from me now?' 'God will,' he replied. Then 
Gabriel gave the man a push in the chest and the sword fell from his hand. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) picked it up and said, 'And who will protect 
you from me?' 'No one', the man replied, 'and I testify that there is no god but 
God and that Muhammad is God's messenger! I swear, I'll never gather a force 
to attack you.' 

"And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) gave him back his sword. 

"When the man rejoined his men, they criticized him and asked what had 
happened. He explained, 'I saw a tall man who pushed me in the chest and made 
me fall over on to my back. I knew him to be an angel. I then testified that 
Muhammad is the Messenger of God and that I would not gather a force against 
him.' He then began inviting his people to accept Islam. 



2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"It was about this incident that God Almighty stated, 'O you who believe, 
remember God's favour to you when a force had prepared to stretch out 
their hands against you, but He held back their hands away from you"' (surat 
al-MaHda; V, v. 11). 

Al-Bayhaql stated, "A similar account will be given about the expedition of 
Dhat al-Riqa c ; there may be two different incidents." 

I comment that if the above account is correct, then the other is definitely not. 
Because in that case - the man's name also being Ghawrith b. al-Harith he did 
not accept Islam but retained his old faith, and he did not vow to the Prophet 
(SAAS) that he would not attack him thereafter. But God knows best. 



THE ATTACK ON AL~FURU< OF BUHRAN. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "He remained for almost all of Rabl c al-Awwal in Medina, but 
then mounted an expedition against Quraysh." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He appointed Ibn Umm MaktOmin command of 
Medina." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He continued on to Buhran, a mine in Hijaz over towards 
al-Furu c ." 

Al-Waqidl stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) was absent from Medina 
only for ten days." But God knows best. 



An Account of the Jews ofBanu Qaynuqa 1 who dwelt in Medina. 

Al-Waqidl claimed that this relates to a Saturday (during the first) half of 
Shawwal in 2 AH. But God knows best. 

It is to them that reference is made in the words of the Almighty: "Like those 
shortly prior to them; they experienced the ugly consequences of what they did, 
and they shall have painful punishment" {surat al-Hashr, LIX, v. 15). 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "It was at the time of these raids made by the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) that the affair of the BanG Qaynuqa' arose. 

"People say that the Messenger of God (SAAS) assembled them in their 
market and addressed them, saying: 'O Jews, beware of God afflicting you as He 
did Quraysh. And so accept Islam. You well know that I am a prophet sent with 
a mission; you find that to be so in your Book and in God's pact with you.' 

"They responded, 'Muhammad, do you think we are your people? Don't 
delude yourself, just because you did battle with those who lacked knowledge 
of warfare, and so you could take advantage of them. If you fight against us, 
you'll find us to be real men!' " 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "A freed-man of Zayd b. Thabit related to me, from 
Sa c id b. Jubayr, and from c Ikrima, from Ibn ( Abbas, who said, 'The following 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 3 

verse was revealed specifically concerning them. "Tell those who disbelieve: 
'You shall he defeated and herded into hell, a terrible abode. A proof of this came 
to you when two forces clashed.'" {sural Al '■Imran; III, v. 11). This refers to the 
Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS), to those who participated at 
Badr, and to Quraysh. (Along with:) "One side fights for God's cause, while the 
other is unbelieving, whom they see with their own eyes to be twice their like. 
And God aids with His help whomsoever He wishes. There is surely a lesson in 
this for those who have sight."'" {sural Al <-Imran; III, v.12). 

Ibn Ishaq stated, " c Asim b. ^Umar b. Qatada related to me that the Banu 
Qaynuqa < were the first of the Jews who broke their pact and fought in the 
period between the battles of Badr and Uhud." 

Ibn Hisham stated, " c Abd Allah b. Ja c far b. al-Miswar b. Makhrama related, 
from Abu c Awn, 'The problem with Banu Qaynuqa c arose as follows. An Arab 
woman took an ornament of hers and sold it in the market of Banu Qaynuqa c . 
She sat there with one of their goldsmiths and the men present began pestering 
her to uncover her face. She refused, but the goldsmith managed to attach the 
hem of her dress to her back. When she got up, she was exposed, and they all 
laughed at her. She screamed and one of the Muslim men attacked and killed the 
goldsmith, who was a Jew. The Jews then seized the Muslim and killed him. The 
Muslim's family called for help from the other Muslims against the Jews. The 
Muslims were enraged, and so enmity arose between them and Banu Qaynuqa c .'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, " c Asim b. ^Umar b. Qatada related to me, 'And so the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), besieged them until they surrendered to him. 

" ' c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Sallul went to him after God had given him power 
over them and said, "Muhammad, treat my allies kindly!" They were allies of 
Banu al-Khazraj. He turned away from him, however, and so c Abd Allah put his 
hand inside the pocket of the chain-mail of the Messenger of God (SAAS).'" 

Ibn Hisham stated that this pocket was known as the dhat al-fadill, "the 
bounteous". 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then told him 'Let go 
of me!' His face darkening in rage, he repeated, 'Let go of me, I say!' 

" c Abd Allah replied, 'No; I'll not do so until you agree to treat my allies 
well. Four hundred men without armour and three hundred with chain-mail 
have protected me from all and sundry, and you would mow them down in one 
morning! I'm a man who is afraid of turns of fate.' The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) then said to him, 'They are yours!'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) placed Abu Lubaba 
Bashlr b. *Abd al-Mundhir in charge (of Medina) during his siege of them, 
which lasted for 15 days." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "My father related to me, quoting t Ubada b. al-Walid, from 
•Ubada b. al-Samit, who said, 'When Banu Qaynuqa c opposed the Messenger 



4 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

of God (SAAS) ( Abd Allah b. Ubayy remained allied with them and protected 
them, while < Ubada b. al-Samit, who had the same alliance with them as did 
c Abd Allah b. Ubayy, went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and gave them over 
to him, renouncing his pact with them in favour of God and His Messenger. 
"Ubada told him, "O Messenger of God, I ally myself with God, His messenger 
and the believers, and I renounce my association and alliance with these 
unbelievers."'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "It was about him and <Abd Allah b. Ubayy that the 
following verses were revealed, 'O you who believe, do not ally yourselves with 
the Jews and the Christians; they are allied with one another'" (surat al-McPida; 
V, v.50). This referred to c Abd Allah b. Ubayy. And "... those who ally 
themselves with God and His messenger and those who believe; they are the 
party of God who will triumph" {surat al-Ma>ida; V, v.56). This referred to 
*Ubada b. al-Samit. We have discussed this in our Tafitr. 



THE ATTACK MADE BY ZAYD B. HARITHA AGAINST THE QURAYSH 
CARA VAN WHICH WAS ALSO ACCOMPANIED BY ABU SUFYAN AS 
WELL AS, IT IS SAID, B Y SAFWAN. 

Yunus b. Bukayr quoted Ibn Ishaq as follows, "This occurred six months after 
the battle of Badr." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The account of it related that Quraysh became insecure 
about the route they usually followed to Syria, after the events of Badr, and 
so they took the Iraq route. Some of their merchants, including Abu Sufyan, 
who was bearing a large quantity of silver which was the greater part of their 
merchandise, left, having hired as a guide for that route a man of Banu Bakr b. 
Wa°il named Furat b. Hayyan, that is al-1jll, who were allied to Banu Sahm. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent forth Zayd b. Haritha who met up with 
them at a well called al-Qarda. He seized the caravan, and all it contained, but its 
men escaped. He returned with the spoils to the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses about this: 

'Say farewell to the rivulets of Syria, for in the way 
are swords like the mouths of pregnant camels hurting 
from eating arak leaves 

In the hands of men who have moved off towards their 
Lord and to His helpers in truth, and in angels' hands. 

If they proceed to the lowlands from the sand valley, 
then tell them, "the route is not there!" ' " 

Ibn Hisham stated, "This qasida is included in the verses by Hassan; Abu Sufyan 
b. al-Harith composed a response to them." 

Al-Waqidi stated, "This foray by Zayd b. Haritha occurred at the start of 
Jumada al-Uwla, some 28 months after the Hijra. Safwan b. Umayya was the 
leader of this caravan. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 5 

"The reason he sent out Zayd b. Haritha was that it was Nu^aym b. Mas'ud, 
then still a follower of his own people's religion, who had come to Medina with 
news of this caravan. This Nu'aym had met with Kinana b. Abu al-Huqayq, 
along with some of Banu al-Nadlr, among whom was Sulayt b. al-Nu c man, 
of Aslam. They had been drinking, this being before the prohibition of wine. 
Nu'aym had talked of the departure of the caravan with Safwan b. Umayya, 
and of the valuables it carried. Sulayt had immediately left and informed the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), who had promptly despatched Zayd b. Haritha. His 
force met and seized the caravan, but the men accompanying it escaped. They 
did capture a man or two, then took command of the caravan and brought it in. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) divided it up into five portions, each of which 
amounted to 20,000 dirhams. He apportioned four-fifths of it to the expedition. 
Among those captured was the guide, Furat b. Hayyan. He accepted Islam, may 
God be pleased with him." 

Ibn Jarir stated, "Al-Waqidi asserted that in the spring of that year ^thman 
b. 'Affan married Umm Kulthum, daughter of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
and that she was brought to him in Jumada al-Akhira." 



THE KILLING OF KA l B B. AL-ASHRAF, THE JEW. 

He was of the Ta 5 ! tribe, part of Band Nabhan; but his mother was of Banu 
al-Nadlr. 

Ibn Ishaq related it thus, before the withdrawal of the Banu al-Nadir. 
Al-Bukharl and al-Bayhaqi, however, noted it following their accounts of the 
Banu al-Nadlr affair. Ibn Ishaq was correct in relating it as he did, as will be clear 
from what follows, namely that the Banu al-Nadlr matter occurred after the 
battle of Uhud. It was in the siege of the enemy then that wine was prohibited, 
as we will later explain, if God wills it. 

In his sahih collection, al-Bukharl stated, in a section entitled, "The killing of 
Ka<b b. al-Ashraf ', that <Ali b. <Abd Allah related to him, quoting Sufyan, that 
c Amr stated, "I heard Jabir b. <Abd Allah say, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
asked, "Who will deal with Ka'b b. al-Ashraf? He has sought to harm God and 
His Messenger." Muhammad b. Maslama arose and replied, "O Messenger of 
God, do you wish that I kill him?" "Yes," he answered. "Then please permit me 
to say something." "Do so," he was told. 

" 'Muhammad b. Maslama then approached him (Ka^b) and said, "This fellow 
(i.e. the Messenger of God (SAAS)), asked us for charity, but he has become a 
nuisance to us. I've come to you to ask you to give us a loan." 

■"He responded, "So, by God, you too are tired of him!" 

"'Muhammad b. Maslama responded. "Having followed him, we don't want 
to abandon him until we see how it turns out for him. We'd just like you to make 
us a loan." 

"'AH right; give me some security.' 'What would you like?' 



THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"'Pledge me your womenfolk!' 

"They objected, 'How could we pledge you our women, you being the most 
handsome of the Arabs!' 1 

"'Then pledge me your sons', he asked. 

"'How could we pledge you our sons?' they demanded, 'and have them 
insulted by being told they are only worth the value of a wasq or two! That would 
be shameful for us. But we will pledge you our la'ma.' Sufyan said that by this 
he meant their weapons. 

"Muhammad b. Maslama then made a night rendezvous with him and did go 
to him one night, accompanied by Abu Na'ila, who was Ka'b's foster-brother. 
Ka'b invited them into his castle and came down to them. His wife asked him, 
"Where are you going at this late hour?" (According to another account, one not 
from c Amr, she commented, "I hear a voice dripping blood!") 

"He replied, 'It's only my brother Muhammad b. Maslama and my foster- 
brother Abu Na^ila. A man of honour, if invited to a stabbing at night, would still 
accept!' 

"Muhammad b. Maslama went in accompanied by two men. He told them, 
'When he comes, I'll lean over towards his hair to smell it. When you see me 
seize his head, then you come on over and strike him.' He went on, 'I'll do it 
once, then let you smell.' 

"When Ka<b came down, he was wearing a loose sash and was redolent with 
perfume. Muhammad b. Maslama commented, T never smelled a finer scent 
than today!'" (According to the other tradition, he (Ka^) commented, "I have 
the best-perfumed and best-looking women of all the Arabs!") 

c Amr went on, "He then asked, 'Would you permit me to smell your head?' 
'Certainly,' Ka^ replied. 

"He then smelled it and had his companions do the same. He then asked, 'Do 
you permit me?' 'Yes,' K^b replied. And then he (Muhammad b. Maslama) 
seized him, calling out, 'Get him!' And they killed him. They then went to the 
Prophet (SAAS) and informed him." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ka*b b. al-Ashraf was of the Ta'i tribe, of the sub-tribe of 
Banu Nabhan, though his mother was of BantJ al-Nadir. He received news of 
the deaths of those at Badr after the arrival of Zayd b. al-Hantha and c Abd Allah 
b. Rawaha. He commented, 'By God, if Muhammad has really struck down 
those people, then better beinside the earth than upon it!' 

"When this enemy of God was sure of this news, he left for Mecca, where 
he visited al-Muttalib b. Abu Wada'a b. Dubayrat al-Sahmi, whose wife was 
( Atika, daughter of Abu al-^s b. Umayya b. c Abd Shams b. c Abd Manaf. She 
accommodated him graciously and he began instigating an attack upon the 



1. The Arabic of this comment, curious since it is being made to a Jew, reads, ma anta ajmatu 
al-'-arab. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA C IL IBN KATHIR 7 

Messenger of God (SAAS) speaking verses and mourning the deaths of those 
polytheists killed at Badr." 

Here Ibn Ishaq gave his poem which begins with the verse, 

"The Badr millstone ground to death those killed there, 
and for the like of Badr one speaks and weeps." 

He also gave the response to this poem by Hassan b. Thabit, may God be pleased 
with him, as well as verse by others. 

He went on, "Ka'b then returned to Medina where he composed verses that 
were suggestive about the Muslim women and critical of the Prophet (SAAS) 
and his followers." 

Musa b. <Uqba stated, "Ka'b b. al-Ashraf was of Banu al-Nadir, or associated 
with them; he harmed the Messenger of God (SAAS) by ridiculing him in 
verse and he rode in to Quraysh to incite them further. Abu Sufyan, in Mecca, 
asked him, 'In your view, I pray you tell me, which religion is more favoured by 
God, that of Muhammad and his friends, or our own? Which of us, do you 
think, is more correct and appropriate? We slaughter our meat generously, give 
milk-topped water to drink, providing food for all and sundry who come.' 

"Ka'b b. al-Ashraf replied, 'You are better-guided in your path than they are.'" 

Musa went on, "And so God revealed to His Messenger the verses, 'Have you 
not considered those given a part of the Book who believe in enchantment and 
devils, and who say to those who disbelieve, "These are better guided on the 
path than those who believe (in God)." They are indeed cursed by God; those 
whom God curses you shall find to be without succour'" (sural al-Nisa ; IV, 
v.51, 2). 

Both Musa and Ibn Ishaq stated further, "He went to Medina where he 
proclaimed his enmity and incited people to go to war. He had not left Mecca 
before he had united them to fight the Messenger of God (SAAS); he then 
began composing amatory verse about Umm al-Fadl b. al-Harith and other 
Muslim women." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, as <Abd Allah b. 
al-Mughlth b. Abu Burda related to me, 'Who will take care of Ibn al-Ashraf?' 

"Muhammad b. Maslama, a brother of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal, responded, 'I'll 
take care of him for you, Messenger of God. I will kill him!' 

" 'Do so then, if you can,' he told him." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Muhammad b. Maslama then returned and stayed three 
days and nights earing and drinking nothing except what was essential. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) was informed of this and he summoned him and 
asked, 'Why have you given up food and drink?' He replied, 'O Messenger of 
God, I promised you something that I don't know whether I can fulfil or not.' 
He was told, 'You only have to try,' 

"He replied, 'O Messenger of God, we'll have to say certain things.' 

'"Say whatever you think fit; you will be free of blame for doing so.' 



8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"Muhammad b. Maslama then set about killing Ka°b with Salkan b. Salama b. 
Waqsh, who was known as Abu Na'ila. He was of Baml c Abd al-Ashhal. He was, 
moreover, the foster-brother of Ka*b b. Ashraf. Also with them were c Abbad 
b. Bishr b. Waqsh, of Banu *Abd al-Ashhal, along with al-Harith b. Aws b. 
Mu<adh, of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal, and Abu c Abs b. Jabr, a brother of Banu 
Haritha." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "They then dispatched to Ka'b, that enemy of God, Salkan 
b. Salama Abo Na'ila. When the latter was with him, he talked with Ka^ and 
they recited poetry to one another; Abu Na'ila was a poetry reciter. He then told 
Ka^b, 'I'm so sorry, Ibn al-Ashraf, but I've come to you about something I want 
to discuss, and for you to keep confidential.' 'I'll do that,' he said. 

"Muhammad b. Maslama went on, 'This man's arrival among us was a 
disaster! The Arabs became hostile to us, and united against us. They have cut 
off our routes, so that our young are deprived and scared. We and our families 
are suffering greatly.' 

"Ka^ commented, 'I'm al-Ashraf s son! Didn't I tell you, Ibn Salama, that 
things would turn out this way?' 

"Salkan then told Ka^, 'What I wanted was for you to sell us some food 
for which we would give you a surety and keep trust with you; you'll do well 
by that.' 

"He asked, 'Will you give me your sons as surety?' 

"'You want to disgrace us? I have companions who share my views, and I 
wanted to bring them to you for you to sell to us, by which you would do well, 
and we would give you an equivalent pledge in weapons.' 

"Salkan wanted him not to refuse to have weapons present when they brought 
them. Ka'b agreed, saying, 'Weapons would be good security.' 

"Salkan then returned to his companions and informed them what had 
transpired. He told them to get their weapons and to set off, and to meet up with 
him. They then assembled with the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Thawr b. Zayd related to me, from Tkrima, from Ibn 
c Abbas, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) travelled with them as far 
as Baql c al-Gharqad, and there he dispatched them, saying, "Go in God's name! 
O God, give them help!" He then returned home. It was a moonlit night, and 
the men set off and reached Ka'b's castle. 

" 'Abu Na'ila called up to him. Ka<b had recently taken a new wife, and he 
jumped up wrapped in a coverlet. His wife took hold of its hem and said, "But 
you're a man engaged in combat! Warriors don't go down at such a time as 
this!" Ka<b replied, "But it's Abu Na'ila. He'd not have woken me if I had been 
asleep." She commented, "I swear I sense evil in his voice!" Ka<b replied, "If a 
man of honour were invited to a stabbing, he'd still accept!" 

"'He then went down and engaged them in conversation. Eventually they 
asked him, "Ibn al-Ashraf, would you like to take a walk with us to Shi'b 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 9 

al- c Ajuz, where we can spend the rest of the night talking?" "If you wish," he 
replied. And so they left and walked for a while. 

'"Eventually Abu Na'ila touched the hair at KaVs temple with his hand, 
which he then sniffed, saying, "I swear, I've never before this night smelled 
anything so fine!" He then walked further, then did the same, to make Ka<b feel 
secure. Having gone yet further, he then took hold of Ka'b's hair at both temples 
and said, "Strike down the enemy of God!" Their swords rained blows upon 
him, but to no effect.' 

"Muhammad b. Maslama continued, 'I then remembered a poignard I had 
with my sword and drew it, Ka<b meanwhile making such a din that all the forts 
thereabouts had lit up. I stabbed my dagger into his lower stomach and bore 
down on it till it reached his scrotum. The enemy of God then collapsed. 
Meanwhile al-Harith b. Aws had suffered a wound from one of our swords in 
his leg or on his hand. 

"'Thereafter we left, our path taking us past Banu Umayya b. Zayd, then 
Banu Qurayza and then Bu*ath. After that we went on up the stony tract of 
al- c Arld. On account of the blood he was losing, our companion al-Harith b. Aws 
was lagging behind and so we halted for a while. When he came up, following 
our tracks, we carried him and so arrived at the Messenger of God (SAAS) as the 
night was ending and he was engaged in prayer. We greeted him and he came 
out to us. We told him of the execution of God's enemy. He then spat upon our 
companion's wound and we went on to our families. By next morning the Jews 
were in shock at our attack upon God's enemy; every Jew feared for his safety.'" 

Al-Waqidi claimed that they had brought the head of Ka<b b. al-Ashraf to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ka'b b. Malik spoke the following verses about this affair: 

'Ka'b having been left lying stretched out, after his 
demise al-Nadir were humiliated. 

As he lay prostrate on his hands, our men with drawn 
swords having overcome him 

Upon Muhammad's order, when he told Ka'b's brother to 
slip by night secredy to Kafo 

And he tricked him, bringing him down by deceit, yet 
praiseworthy is he, worthy of trust and brave.'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "These verses are from an ode he composed about the battle 
with Banu al-Nadir that will be quoted hereafter." 

I note that the death of Ka'b b. al-Ashraf at the hands of Aws came after 
the battle of Badr. Khazraj killed Abu Rafi f b. Abu al-Huqayq after the battle of 
Uhud, as will be explained hereafter, if God, in whom is all trust, so wills it. 

Ibn Ishaq also gave the following verses by Hassan b. Thabit: 

"How fine a party of men you met, O Ibn al-Huqayq, and 
you too, Ibn al-Ashraf 



1 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Men who travelled by night to bring their light swords 
to you, as cheerful as lions prowling in their lairs. 

They came to you in your own territory, making you 
taste death with their swift-killing blades 

Foreseeing the victory of the religion of their 
prophet, minimizing every matter of danger." 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Kill 
whatever Jew you may conquer!' 

"Muhayyisa b. Mas c ud of Aws thereupon attacked and killed Ibn Sunayna, a 
Jewish merchant who used to associate with them and do business with them. 
His brother Huwayyisa b. Mas c ud was older than Muhayyisa and had not yet 
accepted Islam. When the latter killed the Jew, Huwayyisa began hitting his 
brother and shouting, 'You enemy of God, you! Have you really killed him? Yet 
much of the fat in your belly is from his money!' 

"Muhayyisa replied, 'I was ordered to kill him by someone who, if he ordered 
me to kill you, I would strike your neck!' He also said that this was the start of 
Huwayyisa's acceptance of Islam. 

"Huwayyisa asked, 'Do you really mean that if Muhammad told you to kill 
me, you would do it?' 

"Muhayyisa reiterated, 'Yes, by God! If he were to order me to strike your 
neck, I would do so.' 

" 'By God, any religion that would so affect you is truly wonderful,' said 
Huwayyisa, and he accepted Islam." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "A freed-man of Banu Haritha related this to me, from 
Muhayyisa's daughter, from her father. 

"Muhayyisa spoke the following verses about this: 

"A mother's son complains that if I were ordered to 
kill him, I would strike him with my sharp sword at the 
nape of his head. 

Its blade salt-like in colour, it is so well burnished; 
when I aim it, it never deceives. 

It would not have pleased me to kill you voluntarily, 
even if we owned all between Busra and Ma J rib.'" 

Ibn Hisham recounted, from Abu c Ubayda, from Abu c Amr al-Madanl, that this 
story relates to the time following the battle with Banu Qurayza, and that the 
man killed was Ka^ b. Yahudha. He stated that when Muhayyisa executed him 
on the orders of the Messenger of God (SAAS) on the day of the battle with 
Banu Qurayza, his brother H uwa yyi? a sa "d what he did and Muhayyisa replied 
as above. And so that day Huwayyisa accepted Islam. But God knows best. 

Note: al-Bayhaql and al-Bukhari related the Banu al-Nadir affair before 
the battle of Uhud, but what is correct would be to refer to it thereafter, as did 
Muhammad b. Ishaq and other authorities on the early military engagements. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA <IL IBN KATHIR 1 1 

The proof of this is that wine was prohibited on the nights when Banu 
al-Nadir were being besieged. It is established in the sahih collections that 
some of those who died as martyrs at Uhud had been drinking that morning. 
This indicates that wine was permitted at that time and was only prohibited 
later. And so it is clear that the Banu al-Nadir affair came after the battle of 
Uhud. But God knows best. 

A further note: the affair relating to the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa c came after 
the battle of Badr, as told above. The same applies to the killing of Ka*b b. 
al-Ashraf, the Jew, at the hands of Aws. 

The Banu al-Nadir affair came after the battle of Uhud, as will be told 
hereafter. The same is true of the death of Abu Rafi ( , the merchant Jew from 
Hijaz who was killed by Khazraj. 

The account relating to the Jews of Banu Qurayza will be given after the 
report of the battle of the ahzab -■ "the clans" - and after that of al-khandaq, 
"the trench". 



THE BATTLE OF UHUD, IN SHAWWAL, 3 AH. 

A supplementary note from the author on the naming of Uhud: Uhud was so 
named because of its unique 2 distinction among these mountains. 

In the sahih collection it states, "Uhud is a mountain that loves us and that 
we love. It is said that its name refers to its inhabitants. It is also said that it is 
so named to affirm the closeness of one's family on one's return from a trip, as 
does a lover. It is also said to mean, c ala zahirihl, i.e. 'in a concrete and literal 
interpretation', as in God's words, 'some of them tumble down in fear of God'" 
{sural al-Baqara; II, v.74). 

In a hadith from Abu c Abbas b. Jabr, it states, "Uhud loves us and we it; it 
stands at the gate of paradise. And it is (like a) wild ass that loathes us as we it. 
It stands at one of the gates of hell." 

Al-Suhayli commented, in substantiation of this hadith: "It is well established 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'A man is with whomever he loves.'" 

Al-Suhayli 's comment is strange. For this hadith relates to people and a 
mountain could not be referred to as human. 

This battle took place in Shawwal, 3 AH. This is stated by al-Zuhri, Qatada, 
Musa b. <Uqba, Muhammad b. Ishaq and Malik. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "It occurred in the middle of Shawwal." Qatada said, "It 
took place on Saturday, the 11th of Shawwal." 

Malik stated, "The batde took place early in the day, and it is commonly 
agreed that the reference is to it in the words of the Almighty: '... when you went 
forth from your family in the morning to set the believers in their positions 
for the battle; and God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. When two groups from 

2. The Arabic root ahad implies the number one and singularity or uniqueness. 



1 2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

among you were inclined to being cowardly, even though God was their ally. It 
is in God that believers should trust. And God did aid you at Badr when you 
were weak. Be pious in God, that you may give thanks. (Remember) when you 
said to the believers, "Is it not enough for you that your Lord give you the aid of 
3,000 angels He has sent down? Yes indeed! If you remain fast and pious and 
they charge straight down upon you, your Lord will send down 5,000 of the 
angels to cause havoc ..." and so on to the words, "... and God is not one to leave 
the believers in circumstances such as yours without differentiating evil from 
good. Yet God is not one to reveal to you the unknown"'" (suratAl l Immn; III, 
v. 120-124 and v. 178). 

We have sufficiently discussed details relating to all this in our Tafsir. And all 
praise and reliance is for God. 

We will relate herewith the essentials of the battle as in the accounts given 
by Muhammad b. Ishaq, God be pleased with him, and other scholars expert in 
this field. 

(Ibn Ishaq stated) "Muhammad b. Muslim al-Zuhri, Muhammad b. Yahya b. 
Habban, ^sim b. ^Umar b. Qatada, al-Husayn b. <Abd al-Rahman b. c Amr b. 
Sa<d b. Mu'adh and others of our scholars related to me various aspects of the 
battle of Uhud. What follows is a composite of all their accounts. 

"When those polytheists of Quraysh suffered their fate of burial in the pit, the 
remnants of their force returned to Mecca, as did Abu Sufyan with his caravan. 
c Abd Allah b. Abu Rabi'a, <Ikrima b. Abu Jahl and Safwan b. Umayya gathered 
with others of Quraysh whose fathers, sons or brothers had been struck down at 
Badr. They talked with Abu Sufyan and with others of the Meccan merchants 
who had been with that caravan, as follows: 'O Quraysh, Muhammad has done 
you great harm and has killed your elite. Give us your assistance with this wealth 
to make war on him and to take revenge on him.' They agreed." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "It was about them, so I have been told by certain scholars, 
that Almighty God revealed the words, 'Those who disbelieve are spending their 
wealth to block off God's path. And they shall spend it and then they shall suffer 
regret and be defeated. Those who disbelieve will be herded together into hell' 
(surat al-Anfal; VIII, v.36). 

"And so Quraysh gathered to go to war against the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
when Abu Sufyan and the caravan owners did this, assembling their Abyssinian 
mercenaries and those of the tribes of Kinana and the lowlands who accepted 
their authority. 

"Abu c Azza ( Amr b. c Abd Allah al-Jumahl had been treated kindly by the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) at Badr. He was a poor man with children and 
responsibilities and had been taken captive. Safwan b, Umayya now asked him, 
'Abu c Azza, you are a poet. Help us with your voice and go forth with us,' He 
replied, 'But Muhammad was kind to me, and I don't want to oppose him.' 
Safwan persisted, 'Yes indeed, so help us with your mind; I swear that if you 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 1 3 

return safe, I will make you wealthy. If you are killed, I swear I'll treat your 
daughters just like my own. Whatever happens to my children, good or bad, will 
be their lot too.' 

"So Abu c Azza went off into the lowlands calling upon Banu Kinana and 
reciting, 

'O Banu <Abd Manat, brave men, you are fine warriors, 
as were your fathers too. 

Let not your help be promised a year from now; do not 
let me down, for letting me down 3 is not right.' 

"And Nafi c b. <Abd Manaf b. Wahb b. Hudhayfa b. Jumah went out to Banu 
Malik b. Kinana haranguing them and saying, 

'O mal(ik), mal (possessed of) prominent repute, I 
appeal to ties and to covenants 

Whether to relatives or to those not related, by the 
alliance amidst the holy city, 

At the venerated wall of the ka c ba.' 

"jubayr b. Murtm summoned an Abyssinian warrior slave of his, named Wahshl, 
who could toss a spear in the Abyssinian manner, rarely missing, and told him, 
'Go forth with our men; and if you should kill Hamza, the uncle of Muhammad, 
in revenge for my uncle Tu'ayma b. c Adi, then you are a free man."' 

"And so Quraysh went forth fully armed and accoutred and with their 
Abyssinian mercenaries and clients from Banu Kinana and the lowlands. They 
also took with them their womenfolk in howdahs (camel litter, sedan chairs) to 
keep their spirits high and so that they would not take flight. 

"Abu Sufyan, Sakhr b. Harb, he being their commander, went forth too, 
accompanied by his wife Hind, daughter of c Utba b. Rabi c a. 

"Ikrima b. Abu Jahl also went out with his wife, his cousin Umm Hakim, 
daughter of al-Harith b. Hisham b. al-Mughira. His uncle al-Harith b. Hisham 
also went, accompanied by his wife Fatima, daughter of al-Walid b. al-Mughira. 

"Safwan b. Umayya was accompanied by Barza, daughter of Mas^d b. c Amr 
b. ^Umayr, a lady of Thaqlf; 'Amr b. al- c As had with him Rayta, daughter of 
Munabbih b. al-Hajjaj, she being the mother of his son c Abd Allah b. 'Amr." 

Ibn Ishaq also mentioned other Quraysh men who were accompanied by their 
womenfolk. 

He went on, "And whenever Wahshl passed by Hind, daughter of 'Utba or 
she passed by him, she would say, 'Go to it, Abu Dasma,* avenge us and help 
yourself too!' That is, she urged him on to kill Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib. 

"They advanced and made a halt at 'Aynayn, on a mountain at the Sakhba 
valley of Qanat, on the edge of the wadl facing Medina. 

3. The poet uses the word islam, here connoting "abandonment". 

4. That is, "father of blackness", a reference to his black Abyssinian colouring. 



14 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) heard of this, he told the Muslims, 
'i swear by God, I had a favourable vision! I saw a cow being slaughtered and 
noticed a nick on the tip of my sword blade. Then I saw I had thrust my hand 
through a strong coat of mail. This I interpreted to be Medina.'" 

This hadith was related by both al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Kurayb, 
from Abu Usama, from Burayd b. c Abd Allah b. Abu Burda, from Abu Burda, 
from Abu Musa al-Ash'arl, from the Prophet (SAAS) whom they quoted as 
follows, "I saw in a dream that I was leaving Mecca for some land where there 
were palm trees. I thought that it was either al-Yamama or Hajar, but then I 
realized that it was the city of Yathrib (Medina). In that vision, I saw myself 
wielding a sword, the middle of which broke. And that was what happened to 
the believers at the battle of Uhud. I then wielded it again and it became better 
than ever. And that was what happened when God gave victory and united 
the believers. In the vision, I also saw a cow. And, by God, this was good, for it 
represented the band of believers at the battle of Uhud. And the good was what 
God brought forth from the good, and the reward of the truth that came to us 
after the battle of Badr." 

Al-BayhaqI stated, "Abu c Abd Allah al-Hafiz informed us, as did al-Asamm, 
Muhammad b. c Abd Allah b. c Abd al-Hakam and Ibn Wahb, while Ibn Abu 
Zinad informed me from his father, ^bayd Allah b. c Abd Allah b. TJtba, from 
Ibn 'Abbas, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) took possession of his 
sword Dhu al-Fiqar at Badr. And it was about that sword that he saw the vision 
on the day of the battle of Uhud. 

'"When the polytheists came at the Messenger of God (SAAS), at Uhud, it 
was his view that he should remain in Medina and fight them there. But people 
who had not witnessed Badr told him, "Let's go out, Messenger of God, to them 
and fight them at Uhud." They hoped to attain some of the credit that had 
accrued to those at Badr. They kept on at the Messenger of God (SAAS), until 
he put on his chain-mail. Then they repented and told him, "O Messenger of 
God, stay here. Your view must prevail." 

"'He told them, "It is not proper for a prophet to take off his armour after 
dressing in it until God decides between him and his enemy." 

"'Before putting on my armour that day,' he had been telling them, 'I had a 
vision of myself in stout armour - which I interpreted to be Medina - and that 
I made the (squadron) leader ride behind me; this I interpreted as the leader 
of the squadron. I also saw that my sword, DM al-Fiqar, had been notched; this 
I interpreted as a weakness in you. Then I saw a cow being slaughtered, its 
stomach open. I swear by God, it was good." ' " 

Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah related this from a hadith of c Abd al-Rahman 
b. Abu al-Zinad, from his father. 

Al-Bayhaql related this hadith marfif-an, through Hammad b. Salama, from 
c All b. Zayd, from Anas, back to the Messenger of God (SAAS) who said, "I had 
a vision as if I had made the (squadron) leader ride second saddle. And the blade 



IMA M ABU AL-FID A> ISMA C IL IBN KATHI R 1 5 

of my sword seemed to have been damaged. This I interpreted as meaning that 
I would kill the enemy's leader. I interpreted the damage to my sword's blade as 
being the death of a man from my own family." 

And Hamza was killed, while the Messenger of God (SAAS) killed Talha, 
who was in charge of their banner. 

Musa b. 'Uqba stated, "When Quraysh returned (from Badr) they brought in all 
the Arab polytheists whom they controlled. Abu Sufyan b. Harb then went forth 
with a Quraysh force, it being in Shawwal of the year following the battle of 
Badr. They halted in the middle of the modi across from Uhud. There were some 
Muslims who had not been present at Badr and who regretted the distinction 
that they had lost. They were eager to meet the enemy to attain what their 
brethren had achieved at the battle of Badr. 

"When Abu Sufyan and the polytheists halted at the base of Uhud, the 
Muslims who had not attended Badr were delighted at the enemy's approach to 
them. They told one another that God had fulfilled their dreams. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) received a vision on the Friday night. When 
he arose next morning a group of his Companions came to him and he told them, 
'Last night in my sleep I saw a cow being slaughtered, and by God, it was good. 
And I also saw that my sword, Dhu al-Fiqar, had been notched on its blade.' (Or 
he said, 'And it had notches in it, and I hated this. These were two disasters.') 
'And I saw myself in stout armour and that I was making a (squadron) leader ride 
second saddle.' 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) told them of his visions, they asked, 
'O Messenger of God, what interpretation do you give your visions?' He replied, 
'I interpreted the cow I saw as one among us and among the enemy; I disliked 
what I saw happen to my sword.' 

"Some men say that what he saw in his sword was what was to strike his 
face, for the enemy did wound him in the face that day; they broke one of 
his front teeth and tore his Up. They claim that it was ^tba b. Abu Waqqas 
who threw it. The cow represented those of the Muslims who were killed at that 
battle. 

"(The Messenger of God (SAAS) said) 'I interpret the kabsh, to be the 
(squadron) leader of the enemy, God damn them, and the stout armour to be 
Medina. So remain here, drawing the families into the citadels. When the enemy 
attacks us through the alleys, we'll fight them and fire down at them from on top 
of the houses.' The Muslims had lined the alleys of Medina with fortifications so 
that they had become like fortresses. 

"Those Muslims who had not been present at Badr said, 'We had been 
looking forward to this day, and praying to God for it. God has brought it to us, 
and made the outcome close at hand.' 

"One of the ansar asked, 'When will we do battle with them, O Messenger of 
God, if not right here in our area?' 



1 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"Others asked, 'What about our people; what will we be able to defend, if we 
can't defend ourselves in war because of fear?' 

"Others made statements agreeing with him or going even further. One of 
these men was Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib, who said, 'By Him who revealed the 
Book to you, we shall take issue with them!' 

"Nu'aym b. Malik b. Tha c laba, he being of Banu Safim, said, 'O Prophet of 
God, do not deprive us of paradise! By Him who holds my soul in His hands, 
I shall enter it!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked him, 'By what?' 'By my loving God 
and His Messenger, and I will not run away on the day of war.' 'You have 
spoken the truth,' commented the Messenger of God (SAAS). And the man did 
die a martyr on that day. 

"Many of the Muslims insisted on going forth to battle, refusing to accept 
the words and views of the Messenger of God (SAAS). If they had been content 
with what he had told them, it would have turned out so. But fate and destiny 
were to triumph. 

"Most of those advising him to go forth were men who had not been present 
at Badr; they were aware of the credit that had earlier accrued to those who were 
present at it. 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) made the Friday prayer, he preached 
to the congregation and enjoined them to fight hard and well. Having finished 
his address and his prayer, he called for his armour and dressed in it. He then 
made announcement to the people that they were to go forth to battle. 

"Aware of all this, some men of good sense observed, 'The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) ordered us to remain in Medina and he knows best about God and what 
He wants; revelation comes to him from heaven.' 

"They addressed him, 'O Messenger of God, remain here, as you told us to 
do.' He replied, 'It is not fitting for a prophet who has put on armour for war and 
given the order to proceed to battle the enemy to return without fighting. I did 
call upon you to do that, but you insisted on going out to battle. You must fear 
God and remain firm in the violence when you meet the enemy. Look for what 
it is God has ordered you, and do it.'" 

The account continued, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then left with the 
Muslims. They took the route through al-Bada^ and numbered 1,000 men. 
There were 3,000 in the polytheist force. The Messenger of God (SAAS) went 
on till he reached Uhud. 

"Then <Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul went back with 300 men, there remaining 
700 with the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Al-BayhaqI stated, "This is what is widely known among scholars of early 
military affairs - namely, that their force remained at 700 fighting men." 

Al-Zuhrl, however, was of the opinion that they had 400 fighting men 
left. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 17 

Ya c qub b. Sufyan related it thus from Usbugh, from Ibn Wahb, from Yunus, 
from al-Zuhri; but by this chain of authorities the number was also given as 700. 
God knows best. 

Musa b. 'Uqba stated, "The polytheists' cavalry was under the command 
of Khalid b. al-Walld. They had with them 100 horses. Their banner was in 
the charge of c Uthman b. T^lha. The Muslim force did not have a single horse." 
He then related the battle, as will now be done in detail, if God wills it. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had related 
his visions to his Companions, he told them, 'If you agree to remain in Medina 
and leave them where they have halted, that spot will turn out bad for them, 
while if they come in after us, we will fight them in the town.' 

" c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul agreed with the Messenger of God (SAAS) that 
they should not go forth to meet the enemy. 

"Some Muslims, however, including some whom God granted martyrdom at 
Uhud and others who had not attended at Badr, said, 'Messenger of God, lead 
us forth to our enemies so that they won't consider us to be scared of them, or 
too weak.' 

" c Abd Allah b. Ubayy stated, 'Messenger of God, don't go out to attack them. 
Whenever we have left the town to do battle with an enemy, we have been 
beaten, whereas whenever they came in we beat them.' 

"People kept on badgering the Messenger of God (SAAS) until he went in 
and dressed in his armour. That was on Friday, after he had finished the prayer. 
A man from Banu al-Najjar named Malik b. c Amr had died that day. He said 
prayers for him and then went out to his men. They were now repenting their 
attitude and saying, 'We made him do what he did not wish, and we had no right 
to do that.' 

"When he came out to them, they told him, 'Stay here if you wish, Messenger 
of God.' He replied, 'It would not be fitting for a prophet who put on armour to 
take it off before he did battle.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then went forth with 1,000 of his men." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He left Ibn Umm MaktOm in command of Medina." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "He went on as far as al-Shawt, between Medina and Uhud, 
and there <Abd Allah b. Ubayy withdrew back with one-third of the men. He 
said, 'He (the Prophet (SAAS)) agreed with them, but not with me. We don't 
know why we should kill ourselves out here, men!' 

"He returned home with those of his tribe who were hypocrites and doubters. 
c Abd Allah b. c Amr b. Haram al-Sulami, the father of Jabir b. c Abd Allah, went 
after them, saying, 'People, I enjoin you by God not to abandon your people and 
your Prophet when their enemy is at hand!' They replied, 'If we knew that you 
would do batde, we would not surrender you; but we don't believe there will 
be any fighting.' 



1 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"When they disobeyed <Abd Allah and refused to change their decision to 
retreat, he commented, 'May God banish you, you enemies of God; His Prophet 
(SAAS) will do without you!'" 

I comment that these people are those to whom reference is being made in the 
words of the Almighty, "And so that He would know the hypocrites who were 
told, 'Come fight in God's cause, or defend yourselves.' They replied, 'If we 
knew there would be fighting, we would have followed you.' On that day they 
were closer to disbelief than to faith. They spoke with their mouths what was 
not in their hearts. But God knows well what they conceal" (silrat Al c Imran; 
III, v. 166). 

This meant that they were lying in their statements, "If we knew there would 
be fighting, we would have followed you." This is because the occurrence of the 
fighting was completely clear and evident, not something unknown or in doubt. 

About them God also revealed, "What ails you then, that you have become 
two parties about the hypocrites; God had subverted them because of what they 
had earned" (surat al-Nis&i'; IV, v.88). This is because one group had said, "We 
shall fight them!" while others said, "We will not fight them!" This is made clear 
and is well-established in the sahih collections. 

Al-Zuhri stated that on that day the Companions asked the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) for permission to enlist the aid of their Jewish allies in Medina, but 
that he replied, "We have no need of them." 

^rwa b. Musa b. ^qba related that when c Abd Allah b. Ubbay and his men 
withdrew, Banu Salama and Banu Haritha were about to lose courage, so God 
Almighty gave them strength. He therefore revealed, "When two of your parties 
were about to lose courage, yet God was the protector of them both, and it is 
upon God that believers rely" (surat Al l Imran; III, v. 123). 

Jabir b. ( Abd Allah stated, as is established about him in both sahih collections, 
"I would not have liked it if it had not been revealed, for '... God was the 
protector of them both.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) proceeded on, passing 
through the stony tract of Banu Haritha. A horse swished its tail and caught 
against the hilt of a sword and jerked it out. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then 
told the man whose sword it was, 'Sheathe your sword; I can see swords are to 
be drawn today.' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) then asked his Companions, 'Who can take us close to 
the enemy by a path that will not take us past them?' Abu Khaythama, brother 
of Banu Haritha b. al-Harith replied, 'I will, Messenger of God.' He then led 
them out into the territory of Banu Haritha, passing through their properties. 
Eventually Abu Khaythama led him into the farm of Mirba c b. Qayzi. This man 
was a hypocrite and also blind. When he heard the sound of the Messenger of 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R. 1 9 

God (SAAS) and the Muslims with him passing by, he began tossing dirt into 
their faces, saying, 'If you are the Messenger of God, then I do not permit you 
to enter my garden!' " 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "It was told to me that he then look up a handful of dirt, 
saying, 'By God, if I knew I'd strike no one but you, Muhammad, I'd hit you in 
the face with this!' The Muslims charged at him to kill him, but the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) said, 'Don't kill him! This sighdess fellow is blind both in 
his heart and in his eyes!' But Sa<d b. Zayd, brother of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal, had 
already charged at him before the command of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
and had hit him with his bow in his head and split it open. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) proceeded ahead and came down the defile 
from Mt. Uhud, at the head of the valley, at the mountain. He positioned his 
camels and his men towards Uhud and said, 'Let no one begin fighting before I 
give the order to attack.' 

"Quraysh had released their camels and horses in the fields at al-Samgha, part 
of Qanat that was Muslim territory. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) gave 
the order not to attack, one of the Companions asked, 'Are the fields of Banu 
Qayla to be grazed without us going to battle?' 

"Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) made ready for battle. His force 
consisted of 700 men; he appointed c Abd Allah b. Jubayr, brother of Banu 
c Amr b. <Awf, in charge of the archers. He stood out by being dressed in white 
clothing; the archers totalled SO men. He (the Prophet (SAAS)) said 'Fend off 
the cavalry from us with your arrows, so that they don't come at us from the rear. 
Whether the battle goes for or against us, hold your position so that we can't be 
attacked from your direction.'" 

This statement will receive testimony in both sakih collections, if God wills it. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went out wearing two sets 
of armour; that is, he wore one suit of chain-mail above another. He gave charge 
of the banner to Mus'ab b. HJmayr, brother of Banu ( Abd al-Dar." 

I comment that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had sent back a group of 
young men from the batde of Uhud, not permitting them to be present at the 
fighting because of their youthfulness. These included <Abd Allah b. ^mar, 
as is established in both sahih collections. He stated, "I was offered to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) for the battle of Uhud, but he would not allow me. 
I was later presented to him for the battle of al-khandaq, 'the trench', at a time 
when I was 15, and he then did permit me to participate." 

On that occasion he also rejected Usama b. Zayd, Zayd b. Thabit, al-Bara* b. 
c Azib, Usayd b. Dhahlr and c Araba b. Aws b. Qayzl. Ibn Qutayba related this and 
al-Suhayll also gave it. It is of the last-mentioned that al-Shammakh stated: 

"If a banner be raised for glory, then 'Araba will take 
it in his right hand." 



20 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Sa<d b. Khaythama was also one of these. Al-Suhayll mentioned him too. He 
(the Messenger of God (SAAS)) allowed all of these to participate at the battle 
of al-khandaq. 

He had sent back from Uhud Samura b. Jundub and Rafi < b. Khadlj, both of 
these being 15 years of age. But someone told him that Rafi c was an archer, and 
so he let him stay. Then someone told him that Samura could wrestle Rafi* 
down, and so he let him stay too. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Quraysh positioned their forces. They numbered 3,000. 
They had brought 200 horses with them which they positioned on the flanks, 
with Khalid b. al-Walid in charge of the right flank of the cavalry and ^krima b. 
Abu Jahl b. Hisham in command of its left." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 'Who will take this 
sword, along with its rights?' 

"Various men arose, but he refrained from giving it to them. Then Abu 
Dujana Simak b. Kharsha, brother of the Banu Sa c ida, came to him and asked, 
'What are its rights, Messenger of God?' 

"Tor you to strike the enemy with it until it bends.' 

"'I will take it, Messenger of God, along with its rights,' he agreed, and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) gave it to him." 

Ibn Ishaq related this anecdote thus, munqatfian} 

The Imam Ahmad stated, "Both Yazid and 'Affan related to us as follows, 
'Hammad, he being Ibn Salama, related to us, and Thabit informed us, from the 
Prophet (SAAS) that at Uhud he picked up a sword and asked, "Who will take 
this sword?" Some men began examining it and he then asked, "Who will take 
it along with its rights?" The men withdrew, but Abu Dujana Simak responded, 
"I will take it with its rights." And he did take it and cleaved a path with it 
through the middle of the polytheists.'" 

Muslim related this from Abu Bakr, from < Affan. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Abu Dujana was a brave man who engaged in bravado when 
he went into battle. He had a red headband he would put on to set himself apart 
in battle and it would be known that he was preparing to fight." 

He went on, "When he took the sword from the hand of the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), he took out the red headband and put it on. He then began 
strutting about between the two lines. 

"Ja<far b. c Abd Allah b. Aslam, the freed-man of <Umar b. al-Khattab related 
to me, from one of the ansar of the Banu Salama, who related to me as follows, 
'The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, when he saw Abu Dujana strutting, "That 
is a way of walking that God dislikes except in circumstances like this!'"" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Abu Sufyan had told those of Banu c Abd al-Dar who were 
in charge of the banner, inciting them to battle, 'Banu c Abd al-Dar, you were in 

5. This word indicates a hadtth of which the line of transmission is incomplete. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 21 

charge of our banner at the battle of Badr, and you saw what happened to us. 
Men will only fight for their flags; if once they are lost, they withdraw. Either 
take care of our banner for us, or give it over to us and we will relieve you of it.' 

"They were angered at this and threatened him, saying, 'We give over our 
banner to you? You will learn tomorrow, when we meet in battle, how we will 
behave!' That was the response that Abu Sufyan wanted. 

"When the forces met and drew close to one another, Hind, daughter of 
<Utba, arose amidst the women accompanying her, and they took up tam- 
bourines and began beating them, positioning themselves behind the men and 
urging them on to battle. Hind spoke the following verses: 



'Go to it, c Abd al-Dar, go to it protectors of the 



rear: 



Strike with your sharp weapons'.' 

"She also said, 

'If you advance we will embrace and spread out 
cushions; 

But retreat and we'll leave and love not!'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "<Asim b. ^mar b. Qatada related to me that Abu ^mir c Abdu 
c Amr b. Sayfi b. Malik b. al-Nu c man, one of Banu Dubay^, had left for Mecca, 
having disagreed with the Messenger of God (SAAS); he was accompanied by 
50 young men of Aws, though some say they were 15 in number. He had been 
promising Quraysh that if he were to meet up with his people, no two men of 
them would quarrel with him. 

"When the sides clashed, the first to meet them was Abu 'Amir with the 
Abyssinians and the slaves owned by the Meccans. Abu c Amir shouted out, 
'Aws, I am Abu c Amir!' They responded, 'May God grant you no ease, you 
sinner!' 

"Before Islam, Abu c Amir had been known as 'the monk'; the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had renamed him 'the sinner'. 

"When AbO ^Amir heard their reply, he shouted, 'So, evil has befallen my 
people since I left!' He then engaged them in fierce battle, eventually casting 
stones at them." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The sides advanced until the warfare grew intense and 
Abu Dujana progressed deep into the enemy's force." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "More than one scholar related to me that al-Zubayr b. 
al- c Awwam said, 'I was offended when I asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
for the sword and he refused it me and gave it to Abu Dujana. I told myself, "I'm 
the son of his aunt Safiyya, and of Quraysh. Also, I went up and asked him for 
it before he did, yet he gave it to Abu Dujana, rejecting me. By God, I'll watch 
what he does!" 

" 'So I followed him. He took out a red headband and put it on his head. The 
ansar then said, "Abu Dujana has put on the death headband!" This is what they 



22 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

would say to him whenever he did this. He then went forth to battle, reciting 
the words, 

"I am one with whom my companion made a pact, when we 
were there on the hillside amidst the palm trees 

I'll never remain at the rear; I'll strike hard with 
the sword of God and His messenger.'"" 

Al-Umawl stated, "Abu c Ubayd related to me, quoting the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) who said that a man had approached him while he was battling with it 
and he had asked him, 'If I give it to you, you'll probably fight at the rear.' 'No, 
I won't,' the man replied. So he gave the man the sword, who then recited 
the words, 

'I am one with whom my companion made a pact; 
I'll never remain at the rear!'" 

This is a hadith that is related from Shu'ba. Israeli also related it, both of them 
quoting Ibn Ishaq, from Hind, daughter of Khalid; others also give it, attributing 
it directly to the Prophet (SAAS). 

The word used in the above hadith interpreted as "the rear" is the noun 
al-kayyul, a word I have not encountered elsewhere. It is said by some scholars 
to mean "the ranks at the back". 

Ibh Hisham(s text) stated, "Every man he met, Abu Dujana killed. Among 
the polytheists there was one man who executed every man he wounded. This 
man and Abu Dujana came ever closer to one another, and I prayed to God to 
bring them together. And they did meet. They exchanged a couple of blows. The 
polytheist then struck at Abu Dujana, who fended off the blow with his shield 
which trapped the man's sword. Then Abu Dujana struck and killed him. I 
next saw Abu Dujana aiming at the centre of the head of Hind, daughter of 
•Utba. But he turned his sword aside, and I commented, 'God and his messenger 
know best!'" 

Al-Bayhaqi related this hadith in DaWil (The Signs), quoting Hisham b. 
'Urwa, from his father, from al-Zubayr b. al- c Awwam, who gave it. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Abu Dujana said, 'I saw one man who was giving great 
encouragement to his side, so I headed for him. When I attacked him with my 
sword, he let out a scream and I saw it was a woman! I respected the sword of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) by refraining from striking a woman with it.'" 

Musa b. IJqba related that the Messenger of God (SAAS), refused IJmar's 
request when he made it for the sword and when next al-Zubayr sought it he 
rejected him too. This troubled them both. When he offered it a third time and 
Abu Dujana asked for it, he gave it to him, and he did give the sword its rights. 

He went on, "People claim that Ka'b b. Malik said, 'I was among those 
Muslims who went forth to the battle. When 1 saw that the dead on both the 
Muslim and polytheist sides were similar, I moved forward to participate. I then 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 23 

saw that one polytheist, heavily armoured, was striking the Muslims hard and 
saying, "Come on then, you sheep gathering for the slaughter!" But then I 
saw one Muslim, fully armoured, waiting for him and I went on over behind him 
and began comparing the Muslim with the polytheist. The latter was better in 
equipment and in form. I kept on waiting until they met. The Muslim then 
struck the unbeliever a blow with his sword on his shoulder artery. The sword 
came right down through to his thigh, cutting him into two. Then the Muslim 
uncovered his face and said, "What about that, Ka'b! I'm Abu Dujana!" ' " 



THE DEA TH OF HAMZA, MAY GOD BE PLEASED WITH HIM. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib fought on until he killed Artat b. 
<Abd Shurahbil b. Hashim b. c Abd Manaf b. c Abd al-Dar, who was one of those 
bearing the banner. He also killed c Uthman b. Abu Talha while he was carrying 
the flag and reciting, 

'It is the duty of those who bear the flag to keep up 
tall or to be struck down low.' 

"Hamza then attacked and killed him, 

"After that Siba < b. ( Abd al-'Uzza al-Ghubshani, who was commonly known 
as 'Abu Niyar', passed him by and Hamza called out to him, 'Come on over 
here, you son of a female who does circumcisions!' The man's mother was 
Umm Anmar, a freed-woman of Sharlq b. c Amr b. Wahb al-Thaqafi; she was 
ctrcumcisor (of women) in Mecca. When the two men met, Hamza struck and 
killed him. 

"Wahshl, the slave of Jubayr b. Mut'im stated, 'I swear, I watched while 
Hamza struck out at everyone with his sword, letting none escape; he was like 
some gigantic camel. Siba c got to him before me, then Hamza said, "Come on 
over here, you son of a woman who does circumcisions!" He then struck him so 
fast that he seemed to have missed his head. So I readied my spear until sure it 
was well aimed, then I let it fly at him. It hit him beneath his navel and came 
out between his legs. He advanced towards me, but collapsed. I left him till he 
died, then I went, retrieved my spear and returned to the camp; my only business 
was with him.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "<Abd Allah b. al-Fadl b. 'Ayyash b. Rabl'a b. al-Harith 
related to me, from Sulayman b. Yasar, from Ja c far b. c Amr b. Umayya al-Damrl, 
who said, 'I and <Ubayd Allah b. 'Adl b. al-Khiyar, one of BanQ Nawfal b. c Abd 
Manaf, went out on a military expedition during the reign of Mu'awiya. Having 
served with the others, we passed by Hims, where Wahshl, the freed-man of 
Jubayr, had taken up residence. When we got there, "Ubayd Allah b. c Adi asked, 
"Should we go to see Wahshl and ask him about the death of Hamza, and how 
he killed him?" "If you would like," I responded. 



24 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"'So we went off and enquired about him in Hims. When we asked a man 
about him, he told us, "You will find him in the courtyard of his house. He 
has become addicted to wine; if you should find him sober, you'll find him to 
be a true Arab man and you'll get what you want from him and he'll tell you 
whatever you ask him about. But if you find him under the influence, you'd 
better just leave him alone." ' 

"He continued, 'So we went off to visit him and found him in the courtyard 
of his house on a rug. He was a large old man who looked like a bughath, a 
blackish bird. 6 He was sober and in good health and we greeted him when we 
reached him. 

'"He raised his sight to 'Ubayd Allah b. c Adi and asked, "Are you the son 
of <Adl b. al-Khiyar?" "Yes, I am," he replied. Wahshl commented, "Well, I 
swear, I've not seen you since I handed you to your mother, al-Sa ( diya, who was 
suckling you, at Dhu Tuwa. I lifted you up to her as she sat on her camel. She 
took hold of you around the waist and your feet shone as I handed you up to her. 
I swear, I therefore recognized your feet as soon as you stood before me!" ' 

"He went on, 'So we sat down with him and told him, "We have come to you 
to ask you about the death of Hamza; how did you kill him?" 

'"He replied, "Shall I tell it to you just as I did to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) when he asked me about it? I was a slave of Jubayr b. Mut'im, whose 
uncle was Tu'ayma b. c Adl, who was struck down at Badr. When Quraysh 
went forth to Uhod, Jubayr told me, 'If you kill Hamza, Muhammad's uncle, in 
retaliation for my uncle's death, then you will be a free man.' 

"'"So I went out with the warriors. I was an Abyssinian and could throw 
the spear like my countrymen; I rarely missed with it. When the forces met in 
battle, I went forth looking for Hamza to lie in wait for him. I found him right 
amidst the fray, like an enormous camel, striking out viciously at our men with 
his sword, nothing withstanding him. I made use of bushes and rocks to get 
close to him, but Siba< b. { Abd al-IJzza got to him before me. When Hamza saw 
him, he said, 'Come over here, you son of a woman who does circumcisions!' He 
then struck him a blow so quickly that it appeared to have missed his head, I 
aimed my spear carefully, and when sure of it, I hurled it at him. It struck him 
below his navel and emerged between his legs. He tried to move towards me, but 
was overcome. I left him with the spear until he died. Then I went over to him, 
retrieved my spear and returned to camp, where I stayed. I had no business with 
anyone other than him. I only killed him to gain my freedom. 

" ' "When I reached Mecca, I was manumitted and remained there until the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) conquered Mecca. I then fled to Ta'if, where I 
stayed. When the Ta^if delegation left to see the Messenger of God (SAAS) and 
to accept Islam, I didn't know what to do. I told people, 'I'll go to Syria or 
Yemen or some other country!' I was in this state of indecision and anxiety when 

6. Ibn Hisham adds the comment to Ibn Ishaq's account that the word stands for "a kind of 
bird inclining to black in colour". See Guilkume, op. at. p.753. 



IMAM ABU AL-FrDA> ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 25 

someone told me, 'Come on now! I swear, he'll not kill anyone who has adopted 
his religion and testified to the truth.' 

'""When he told me that, I went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) in Medina, 
surprising him by standing before him and speaking the testimony of the truth. 

"'"When he saw me, he asked, 'Are you Wahshi?' I replied, 'Yes, O 
Messenger of God.' He then said, 'Sit down and relate to me how you killed 
Hamza.' 

"'"So I related it as I did to you both. When I finished my account, he said, 
'Remove your face from me; I'll not see you!' 

'""So I used to avoid the Messenger of God (SAAS) wherever he might be 
so that he would not see me, and eventually God, Almighty and Glorious is 
He, took him to Himself.' 

'""When the Muslim force went to war against that liar Musaylima, 7 who 
controlled Yemen, I accompanied them, taking the spear with which I killed 
Hamza. When the forces met, I saw Musaylima standing sword in hand, though 
I didn't then know for sure the man was him. I prepared to attack him, as did 
another Muslim, an ansari, coming from the other side. Each of us was heading 
for him. I steadied my spear until I felt good about it and then let it loose at him. 
It pierced him. The ansari then attacked him with his sword. So God alone 
knows which of us killed him. If it was I who killed him, then I killed the best of 
men after the Messenger of God (SAAS), and also killed the worst of them!"'" 

I note that the ansari was Abu Dujana Simak b. Kharasha. 

Al-Waqidi stated in his account of al-ridda, "the apostasy wars", as follows: 
"He was c Abd Allah b. Zayd b. c Asim al-Mazini. Sayf b. c Amr stated, 'He was 
( Adi b. Sahl. And it was he who spoke the verses, 

"Do you not know that it was I and their Wahshi, who 
killed Musaylima, who sowed dissension. 

People ask me about his death and I reply, 'I struck 
and he pierced!'"" 

What is well known is that it was Wahshi who struck him when he attacked and 
that Abu Dujana finished him off when wounded. This is because of what Ibn 
Ishaq related, from c Abd Allah b. al-Fadl, from Sulayman b. Yasar, from Ibn 
< Umar, who said, "I heard someone shout out at the battle of Yamama, 'It was 
the black slave who killed him!'" 

AI-Bukharl related the story of the killing of Hamza through <Abd al-'Azlz b. 
c Abd Allah b. Abu Salama al-Majishawn, from c Abd Allah b. al-Fadl, from 
Sulayman b. Yasar, from Ja c far b. c Amr b. Umayya al-Damri. He said, "I went 
forth to battle with <Ubayd Allah b. c Adi b. al-Khiyar." And he then related 
the incident as given above. He recalled that <Ubayd Allah b. c Adi was wearing a 

7. A self-styled prophet of Yemen whose Banu Hanifa forces were defeated by the Caliph Aba 
Bakr's army under Khalid b. al-Walid at 'Aqraba' in 12 ah. 



26 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

turban, and that all Wahshi could see of him was his eyes and his feet. And he 
related as above from his knowledge of him. 

This was a great piece of detection, comparable to Mujazziz al-Mudliji's 
noticing a similarity in the feet of Zayd to those of his son Usama despite the 
difference in their complexions. 

He (al-Bukhari) quoted Wahshi as saying, "When the men were lined up for 
battle, Siba went out and said, 'Will someone accept my challenge?' Hamza b. 
c Abd al-Muttalib came forward and answered, 'So Siba, it's you, son of Umm 
Anmar, the woman who does circumcisions! Do you challenge God and His 
messenger?' He then attacked him and it was all over for Siba." 

Wahshi continued, "I was lying in wait for Hamza beneath a rock. When he 
came close to me I hurled my spear at him and it hit him beneath the navel and 
emerged between his thighs. And that was the end of him," 

His account continued until he said, "And when God took the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) unto Himself and the pretender Musaylima appeared, I said, 'I'll 
go out after Musaylima in hopes of killing him to atone for Hamza.' So I did go 
forth with our force and the warfare progressed. Then I saw a man standing in 
a gap in a wall, looking like an enormous camel, rearing its head. I hurled my 
spear at him; it struck him in the middle of the chest and emerged between his 
shoulders. Then one of the Helpers charged at him and struck him with his 
sword on the top of his head." 

c Abd Allah b. al-Fadl stated, "Sulayman b. Yasar related to me that he heard 
c Abd Allah b. ^mar say, 'A girl at the back of the house screamed, "The 
Commander of the Faithful! The black slave killed him!"'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "I have heard that Wahshi continued being punished for 
abuse of wine until he was eventually removed from the pension list. c Umar b. 
al-Khattab used to say, 'I always said God would not leave H amza ' s killer 
unpunished!"' 

I note that Wahshi b. Harb, Abu Dasma, known as Abu Harb, died in 
Huns; he was the first person to wear his clothes madluka, rubbed clean and 
hand-pressed. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Mus'ab b. 'Umayr fought on, protecting the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), until he was killed. It was Ibn QamPa al-Laythl who killed 
him, thinking that Mus'ab was the Messenger of God (SAAS). He went back to 
Quraysh and announced, 'I have killed Muhammad!'" 

I note that Musa b. 'Uqba recounted in his work on the military expeditions, 
quoting Sa'ld b. al-Musayyab, to the effect that the man who killed Mus'ab was 
Ubayy b. Khalaf. But God knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When Mus'ab b. 'Umayr was killed, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) gave the banner into the charge of c All b. Abu Talib." 

Yunus b. Bukayr stated, quoting Ibn Ishaq, "The banner was first with c Ali b. 
Abu Talib. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw that c Abd al-Dar had 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 27 

charge of the polytheists' banner, he said, 'We have a greater right to their 
allegiance than they do!' He then took the banner away from c AIl b. Abu Talib 
and gave it to Mus'ab b. ^mayr. When Mus.'ab was killed, he awarded the 
banner again to 'All b. Abu Talib." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "And c All b. Abu Talib and Muslim warriors fought the 
enemy." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Maslama b. c Alqama al-Mazini related to me, 'When the 
lighting grew fierce at the battle of Uhud, the Messenger of God (SAAS) sat 
beneath the standard of the ansar and sent a message to c All, saying, "Bring the 
banner forward!" <Ali went forward, shouting, "I am Abu al-Qasm!" Abu Sa<d 
b. Abu Talha, he being the standard bearer of the polytheists, called baek, "Will 
you accept single combat, Abu al-Qasm?" "Yes," he replied. So they both went 
forth between the opposing sides and exchanged two blows. Then c Ali struck 
him down, but left without killing him off. 

"'Some of the men asked him, "Why didn't you finish him off?" He replied, 
"He exposed his private parts to me and I had pity on him because of our ties 
of kinship. And I knew that God had condemned him to death," '" 

c Ali himself, may God be pleased with him, did this at the battle of Siffin. 
When Busr b. Abu Artat came up to kill him, he exposed himself to him and 
Busr withdrew from him. 

c Amr b. al- c As acted similarly when 'All came over to kill him in one of the 
battles at Siffra; he exposed himself and c AIl withdrew. On this subject al-Harith 
b. al-Nadr spoke the following verses: 

"Is there at every battle a knight not yet expired, 
with his private parts visible amidst the dust? 

Because of this c All holds back his spearhead, and 
Mu'awiya secretly scoffs at this!" 

Yunus related, from Ibn Ishaq, that Talha b. Abu T a Iha aI- c Abdari, standard 
bearer of the polytheists that day, made a challenge for single combat, but 
the men held back from him. Then al-Zubayr b. al- c Awwam went out to 
him and leapt up on to his camel with him. He then hurled him down from it 
on to the ground and killed him with his sword. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) praised him, saying, "Every prophet has his disciple, and my disciple is 
al-Zubayr." 

He then said, "If he had not gone out to fight him, I would have done so 
myself, having seen how everyone held back!" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Sa<d b. Abu Waqqas killed Abu Sa<d b. Abu Talha. 

"<Asim b. Thabit b. Abu al-Aqlah fought and killed Nafi< b. Abu Talha and 
his brother al-Hallas with arrows. One went to their mother Sulafa and laid his 
head in her lap. She asked, 'Who was it shot you, son?' He replied, 'As he shot 
me, I heard a man say, "Take that; I'm Ibn Abu al-Aqlah!"' She then swore that 
if God gave her ( Asim's head, she would drink wine from it." 



28 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

c Asim had sworn to God that he would never touch a polytheist or have 
one touch him. That is why God protected him at the battle of al-Rajl c , as will 
be related hereafter. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hanzala b. Abu c Amir met in battle with Abu Sufyan Sakhr 
b. Harb. Hanzala was known as c Amr; he was also known as c Abd c Amr b. Sayfi. 
His father, Abu c Amir, was known in the jahiliyya, as 'the monk', because he 
prayed so much. The Messenger of God (SAAS) renamed him 'the sinner' since 
he opposed the truth and those believing in it and fled from Medina abandoning 
Islam and in opposition to the Messenger of God (SAAS). Hanzala was also 
known as al-ghasil, 'the washed one', since he was washed by the angels, as will 
be related. 

"When Hanzala bested Abu Sufyan, Shaddad b. al-Aws, known as Ibn 
Sha<ub, saw this and struck Hanzala down, killing him. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) then said, 'Your friend is being washed by the angels in heaven; ask his 
family about his circumstances.' 

"So they did ask his wife. According to al-Waqidi, she was Jamlla, daughter 
of Ubayy b. Sallul; she had become his bride that night." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "She replied, 'When he went forth on hearing the call 
to arms, he was in a state of ritual impurity.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
commented, 'And so the angels washed him.'" 

Musa b. <Uqba related that his father struck him in the chest with his foot 
and said, "Two sins you committed. I forbad you this fate of yours. And, by 
God, now you've achieved mercy, thanks to your father!" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ibn Sha c ub recited on this subject, 

'I guard my companion and myself with a thrust like a 
flash of sunlight."' 

Ibn Sha'tlb spoke the verse, 

"Were it not for my defence, Ibn Harb, and my presence, 
you would have been unresponsive at the mountain-slope 
battle. 

And had I not brought the colt back to the hilltop, 
hyenas or jackals would have devoured it." 

Abu Sufyan spoke the verses, 

"Had I wished, my red-black swift-footed horse would 
have saved me and I would bear no debt of thanks to Ibn 
Sha'ub. 

And my colt would have stayed a safe distance from 
them, that morning and on till dusk, 

While I fought them, crying, 'Hail to the victor!' 
fending them off with a stout arm. 

Weep on, caring not for how others rebuke you, nor tire 
of your tears and sighs, 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 29 

For your father and his brothers who have passed away; 
their fate deserves tears. 

I am relieved of my earlier pain, now that I have 
killed all the great chiefs of Banu al-Najjar, 

And a fine leader of Hashim, and Mus<ab too, a man who 
was never timid in the fray. 

Had I not relieved my mind by killing them, my heart 
would have been hurt and scarred. 

They withdrew, their jalabib? now dead, their wounds 
gaping and oozing blood, 

Struck down by men not equal to them either in descent 
or in rank." 

Hassan b. Thabit answered him with the verses, 

"You mention the fine leaders of Bartu Hashim, and here 
you are stating no lie. 

Are you pleased at having struck down Hamza, a great 
chief, as you yourself said, 

And did they not kill ^mr, and IJtba and his son, 
along with Shayba, al-Hajjaj and Ibn Hablb, 

That morning when al- c Asl challenged 'All and he scared 
him with the blow of a blood-stained sword?" 



Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Then God sent down victory for the Muslims, fulfilling his 
promise to them. They massacred them with swords, ultimately cutting them 
off from their camp. The enemy's defeat was indisputable. 

"Yahya b. c Abbad b. c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr related to me, from his father 
c Abbad, from c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, from al-Zubayr, who said, 'I swear, I 
remember seeing the legs of Hind, daughter of c Utba and her companions, their 
clothing tucked up as they fled. Almost nothing prevented them being captured 
when the archers turned away to the camp after we had blocked the enemy from 
reaching it. But this meant we had left our rear open to the cavalry, and they 
came at us from behind. Someone yelled, "Muhammad has been killed!" So we 
turned back, the enemy reeling back on us too, after we had killed their standard 
bearers, preventing any of them from approaching it. 

"'And a scholar in the traditions told me that their standard remained down 
until c Amra, daughter of c Alqama, the Harith woman, raised it again for 
Quraysh, and so they rallied back around it The banner had been in the charge 
of Sawab, an Abyssinian slave of Banu Abu Talha. He was the last of them to 
take it; he fought on with it until his hands were cut off. He then crouched down 

8. Guillaurae offers an interesting discussion of this word. Normally meaning "leather 
smock", it seems here to have a pejorative sense of "vagabond" or "tramp". See op. tit. p.378. 



30 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

over it, holding the banner between his neck and chest. He was killed right 
over it, and as he died, he said, "O God, have I >azartu" (for ^adhartu, improperly 
pronouncing the dh sound) that is, 'Am I absolved?" ' 
"Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses on this: 

'You were proud of your flag, yet poor pride it was to 
give it over to Sawab 

You entrusted your pride in it to a slave, grovelling 
in the dust on the ground 

You thought — and a fool too has thoughts - though 
rarely does he get them straight 

That fighting us would be as when we would meet in 
Mecca, with you selling us red leather bags. 

It pleased us well when his hands turned red, though it 
was not dye that made them so.' 

"Hassan also spoke the verses that follow regarding how it was c Amra, daughter 
of ^Alqama, who raised their banner for them: 

'When the ( AdI were led to us, like gazelles of Shirk, 
their eyebrows prominent, 

We set at them, thrusting at them from all sides, 
destroying, punishing and aggrieving them, 

Were it not for the woman of al-Harith having taken 
their banner, they would have been sold in the markets 
like slaves.'" 



Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Muslim ranks broke and the enemy gained advantage 
over them. It was a day of trial and testing in which God honoured some with 
martyrdom. At last the enemy broke through to the Messenger of God (SAAS); 
he was hit with a rock and fell on his side, breaking his front teeth, slashing his 
face and splitting his lip. The man who struck him was ^tba b. Abu Waqqas. 

"Humayd al-Tawll related to me, from Anas b. Malik, who said, 'The front 
tooth of the Prophet (SAAS) was broken at the battle of Uhud, and he was 
slashed in the face. Wiping off the blood, he said, "How could any people 
prosper who would bloody the face of their prophet while he invites them to 
come to God?" And so God sent down the verse: "You have no say in the matter; 
He may indeed forgive them or punish them (though) they are wrongdoers"'" 
(surat A I c /mran; III, v. 127). 

Ibn Jarlr stated in his history, "Muhammad b. al-Husayn related to us, as did 
Ahmad b. al-Fadl, as did Asbat, from al-Suddl, who said, 'Ibn QamPa al-Harithi 
came up and cast a rock at the Messenger of God (SAAS) which broke his nose 
and his front teeth, gashed his face and knocked him over. His Companions then 
scattered away from him, some going back to Medina and others climbing up 
the mountain to al-Sakhra. The Messenger of God (SAAS) began calling out to 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 31 

everyone, "Come to me, servants of God! Come to me, servants of God!" 
Thirty men did gather around him, then began moving out ahead of him, only 
Talha and Sahl b. Hanif staying. Talha shielded him and was struck by an arrow 
in his hand that became paralysed. Ubayy b. Khalaf al-Jumahl then approached; 
he had sworn to kill the Prophet (SAAS). He said, "I really will kill him!" 
He (the Messenger of God (SAAS) responded, "You liar! Where will you 
hide?" Ubayy then attacked, but the Prophet (SAAS) pierced him through the 
chain-mail over his chest and Ubayy was slighdy injured. He fell, bellowing like 
a steer and they carried him off, telling him, "You've not been badly wounded; 
what is upsetting you so?" He replied, "Didn't he say, "I shall certainly kill 
you!" If all Rabija and Mudar had assembled, he would have killed them!" And 
it was only a day or so thereafter that Ubayy did die of that wound. 

"'Word spread that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had been killed. Some of 
those up at al-Sakhra said, "We'd better send an envoy to c Abd Allah b. Ubayy 
and have him get us a truce from Abu Sufyan. People! Muhammad has been 
killed! Go back home before they get to you and kill you!" 

'"Anas b. al-Nadr responded, "People; even if Muhammad has been killed, 
Muhammad's God has not. Fight on for what Muhammad (SAAS) strived for. 
O God, I apologize to You and seek Your forgiveness for what these people have 
said." He then gripped his sword and fought valiantly until he was killed. 

" 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) hurried off to summon his men and reached 
those at al-Sakhra. When they saw him coming, one of them put an arrow to 
his bow to shoot, but he called out, "I'm the Messenger of God!" They were 
overjoyed to see him and he too was delighted to have found some of his men to 
protect him. When they gathered around the Messenger of God (SAAS) their 
depression lifted, and they advanced, talking of victory, how it had escaped them 
and making mention of their comrades who had been killed. 

"'And so God, Almighty and Glorious is He, revealed the following verse 
about these men who had said, "Muhammad is dead! So go back to your 
people!" It was: "Muhammad is only a messenger, and messengers have passed 
away before him" (sural Al '•Imran; III, v. 144). 

'"Abu Sufyan then advanced and took a position where he could look down 
upon them. When the men looked up at him, they forgot their enthusiasm 
and Abu Sufyan became their sole concern. And so the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) spoke the words, "It must not be that they overcome us: O God, if 
this group of men are killed, then You will not be worshipped on earth." His 
Companions then repented and hurled rocks at the enemy until they forced 
them down. 

"'Abu Sufyan said on that day, "Raise up Hubal! Hanzala for Hanzala! The 
battle of Uhud for the batde of Badr!"'" 

He then went on to relate the rest of the story. This account is very strange 
and objectionable in part. 



32 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Rubayh b. <Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Sa c ld claimed, quoting 
his father, from Abu Sa c id, that it was 'Utba b. Abu Waqqas who shot at the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), breaking his lower right incisor and damaging his 
lower lip. He stated further that c Abd Allah b. Shihab al-Zuhri wounded his 
forehead, and that c Abd Allah b. QamPa cut open his cheek, making two rings 
of his chain-mail helmet pierce it. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then fell into 
one of the pits Abu c Amir had prepared for the Muslims. c All b. Abu Talib took 
him by the hand and Talha b. c Ubayd Allah raised him up till he could stand 
straight. Malik b. Sinan, the father of Abu Sa c id, sucked the blood from the 
cheek of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and swallowed it. He (the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) then said, 'Whoever has had his own blood touch mine will not 
be touched by hell-fire.'" 

I comment here that Qatada related that the Messenger of God (SAAS) lost 
consciousness when he fell on his side. He stated that Salim, freed-man of Abu 
Hudhayfa, went over to him, sat him down and wiped the blood from his face. 
As he came to, he said, "How could any people succeed who have done this to 
their prophet while he invited them to come to God?" And so God revealed, "It 
is not your business" (surat Al c Imran; III, v. 127). 

Ibn Jarir gave this tradition, incomplete in its line of transmission; discussion 
of this will come later, separately. 

I would comment that early in the day the Muslims had the upper hand over 
the unbelievers. As God Almighty stated, "God certainly made good to you His 
promise when you killed them by His leave, until you failed and disputed about 
what to do and were disobedient after He had demonstrated to you what you 
liked. Some among you desire this world, while others of you desire the next. He 
then put you to flight before them, to test you all. And He has now forgiven 
you; God is generous to believers. Remember when you went rushing up the 
hill, while the Messenger called you from your rear. And so He exchanged for 
you one sorrow for another" (sural Al '■Imran; III, v. 151, 2). 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Sulayman b. Da J ud related to us, c Abd al-Rahman b. Abu 
Zinad informed us, from his father, from t Ubayd Allah, who quoted Ibn c Abbas 
as saying, 'God never had a victory anywhere as He did at Uhud.' 

"He ( c Ubayd Allah) said, 'We contradicted this', and Ibn 'Abbas responded, 
'The Book of God stands between me and anyone contradicting that. God states 
about Uhud, 'God certainly made good to you His promise when you killed 
them by His leave.'" Ibn c Abbas then said, 'In this text the word al-hass means 
"killing". The text continues, "... until you failed" and so on till the words, 
"... and He has forgiven you; God is generous to believers." By this he was 
referring to the archers. This is because the Prophet (SAAS) placed them in a 
position and said, "Protect our backs. If you see us being killed, don't come to 
our aid. And if you see us winning, don't join us." ' 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 33 

"But when the Prophet (SAAS) was winning and laid open the polytheists' 
camp, all the archers lost control of themselves and went in for plunder; the 
ranks of the Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS) then met up with 
them and intermingled with them in confusion. 

"When the archers left the position they had had, the enemy cavalry attacked 
the men of the Prophet (SAAS) from that spot. The forces engaged in a general 
confused melee, and many of the Muslims were killed. The batde had gone 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS) early in the day, to the point where seven or 
nine of the standard-bearers of the polytheists had been killed. The Muslims 
went on, making a circuit towards the mountain; they did not reach the place 
where people say is the cave, which was beneath the large hollowed-out rock. 

"Then Satan shouted, 'Muhammad has been killed!' It was not doubted that 
this was true. And we went on believing that this was so until the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) appeared amidst a group of men of BanO Sa*d; we recognized 
him from the distinctive way he walked. We were so overjoyed that it was as if 
we had not suffered what we had. As he approached us, he was saying, 'God will 
be extremely angry with a people who have bloodied the face of the Messenger 
of God!' He also said, 'O God, it must not be that they overcome us!' 

"Eventually he reached us and stayed awhile. Then Abu Sufyan lower 
down on the mountain began shouting, 'Raise up Hubal! Raise up Hubal!' His 
reference was to his god. (He also shouted), 'And where is Abu Kabsha's son? 
And where is Abo Quhafa's son? Where is al-Khattab's son?' 

"At this, <Umar b. al-Khattab asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) 'Shouldn't 
I answer him back?' 'You should,' the latter replied. And so when AbO Sufyan 
next said, 'Raise up Hubal!' 'Umar b. al-Khattab responded, 'God is far higher 
and more Glorious!' Abu Sufyan then said, 'Ibn al-Khattab, the war has favoured 
us. Give it up!' 

"He then said, 'And where is the son of Abu Kabsha? Where is Abu Quhafa's 
son? And where is Ibn al-Khattab?' 'Umar responded, 'This, here, is the 
Messenger of God (SAAS); this, here, is Aba Bakr. And here am I, ^mar.' 

"Abu Sufyan then said, 'A battle for that of Badr. Battles move in cycles. 
Warfare has its ups and downs.' ^mar replied, 'They're not equivalent. Our 
dead are in heaven, yours in hell!' 

"He responded, 'That's what you claim! If that were indeed so, then it is we 
who have failed and lost!' Abu Sufyan went on to say, 'Regarding your discovery 
of some mutilated bodies among your dead, this was not from a decision of our 
leadership.' But then his pagan fanaticism got the better of him, and he said, 
'However, if we had deliberated the matter, we might well not have decided 
against it!'" 

Ibn AbO Hatim related this, as did al-Hakim in his compendium. Al-Bayhaqi 
related it in his DalaHl {The Signs), from a hadith of Sulayman b. Da J ud 
al-Hashimi. 



34 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

This hadith is gharib, "unilateral". It is one of the incomplete traditions 
ascribed to Ibn c Abbas. A variety of authorities testify to it, and we will quote 
those we can, if God wills it. And in Him is all trust, upon Him all reliance. It is 
He to whom one goes for help. 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Ubayd Allah b. Musa related to him, from Israel, 
from Abu Ishaq, from al-Bara 5 , who said, "It was on that day that we met 
the enemy in battle. The Prophet (SAAS) positioned a contingent of archers, 
placing <Abd Allah b. Jubayr in charge of them, and telling them, 'Don't leave 
here; if you see us defeat them, don't leave. And if you see them defeat us, don't 
come to our aid.' 

"When we met the enemy in battle, they fled in such disorder that I saw 
their women scurrying up into the mountains raising their legs and exposing 
their ankles. Our troops began calling for plunder, but c Abd Allah replied, 'The 
Prophet (SAAS) charged me not to let you leave.' But they rejected this and no 
sooner had they done so than they became completely confused. 

"70 men were killed and then there was Abu Sufyan looking down on us and 
asking, 'Is Muhammad there among the men?' He (the Prophet (SAAS)) told 
us not to respond. Abu Sufyan then demanded, 'And is the son of Abu Quhafa 
among you?' Again he told us not to reply. Now Abu Sufyan asked, 'Is Ibn 
al-Khattab there?' He then commented, 'Well, these men have been killed; if 
they were alive, they would have responded.' 

" c Umar could no longer contain himself. He shouted, 'You lie, you enemy of 
God! May God give you lasting torment!' 

"Abu Sufyan now said, 'Raise up Hubal!' The Prophet (SAAS) said, 'Now 
give him an answer!' 'What should we say?' the men asked. He replied, 'Say: 
God is far higher and more Glorious!' 

"Abu Sufyan responded, 'Consolation is ours; you have none.' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) told them, 'Answer him back!' 'What should we 
say?' they asked. He replied, 'Say; "God is our master, but you have no master."' 

"Abu Sufyan then said, 'A battle for the battle of Badr. Warfare goes in cycles. 
And you will find some bodies mutilated. We did not order that, but it doesn't 
bother me.'" 

And this is one of the traditions that al-Bukhari includes, but Muslim 
does not. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Musa related to him, as did Zuhayr and Abu Ishaq, 
that al-Ba^a' b. <Azib said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) placed c Abd Allah 
b. JubSyr over the archers, who were 50 men in all, at the battle of Uhud. He 
positioned them in a particular site and told them, 'If you see the vultures flying 
off with us don't leave until I send you a message. If you see us victorious 
over the enemy and trampling them underfoot, don't leave until I send you a 
message.' 

"Our forces defeated them and, I swear by God, I saw their women scurrying 
up the mountain, their ankles and legs exposed as they raised their garments. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 35 

"The men under c Abd Allah b. Jubayr asked, 'The plunder! Let's go for the 
booty, men! Your troops have won, so what do you think?' 

" c Abd Allah b. Jubayr replied, 'Have you forgotten what the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) said?' They replied, 'By God, we should go and join our forces 
and get some of the booty.' 

"And when they did join them, everyone became confused and they suffered a 
defeat and went on ahead, while the Messenger (SAAS) called at them from behind. 

"Only 12 men were left with the Messenger of God (SAAS). 70 of our men 
were struck down; the Messenger of God (SAAS), and his forces had taken out 
140 of the enemy at Badr, 70 being killed and 70 being taken prisoner. 

"Abu Sufyan then asked, 'Is Muhammad among the men?' He said this three 
times, but the Messenger of God (SAAS) told them not to respond. 

"Then he said, 'Is the son of Abu Quhafa among the men? Is Ibn al-Khattab 
there?' He then went forward to his own force and said, 'Those people have 
been killed; you have requited them.' 

" c Umar could not restrain himself from saying, 'You lie, you enemy of God. 
Those you enumerated are all alive. And the living will bring your harm!' 

"Abu Sufyan commented, 'A battle for the battle of Badr! Warfare goes in 
cycles. And you will find some bodies mutilated. We did not order that, but it 
doesn't bother me.' 

"He then began chanting, 'Raise up, Hubal! Raise up, Hubal!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked his men, 'Aren't you going to respond 
to him?' 'But Messenger of God,' they asked, 'what should we respond?' He told 
them, 'Say: "God is far higher and more Glorious!"' 

"Abu Sufyan then commented, 'We have consolation, not you.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked them, 'Won't you respond to him?' 
They asked, 'What should we respond, Messenger of God?' He replied, 'Say: 
"God is our master and you have no master." ' " 

AI-Bukhafl related this in abbreviated form from a hadith of Zuhayr, he 
being Mu'awiyya's son, in abbreviated form. His version has been related above 
through Israeli, from Aba Ishaq. 

Imam Ahmad stated that c Affan related to him, quoting Hammad b. Salama, 
quoting Thabit and 'All b. Zayd, from Anas b. Malik, who said that when the 
polytheists overwhelmed the Prophet (SAAS) while he was in the company of 
seven of the ansar and one man of Quraysh, he said, "Whoever will repel them 
from us will be my companion in paradise!" At this, one of the ansar came up 
and did battle until he was killed. 

The account goes on that when they next overwhelmed him, he again said, 
"Whoever will repel them will be my companion in paradise!" And eventually all 
seven were killed. 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, "Our forces have not treated us 
fairly." 



i 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Muslim related this from Hudba b. Khalid, from an account of Hammad 
b. Salama. 

Al-Bayhaqi stated in his work DalaHl {The Signs), giving his chain of 
transmission from ^Jmara b. Ghaziyya, from Abo al-Zubayr, from Jabir, "The 
men fled in defeat away from the Messenger of God (SAAS), at the battle of 
Uhud. Eleven of the ansar and Talha b. c Ubayd Allah remained with him as 
he climbed on up the mountain, but the polytheists caught up with them. The 
Prophet (SAAS), asked, 'Will no one take care of these?' Talha replied, 'I will, 
Messenger of God!' 'You stay where you are,' he told him. One of the ansar 
then said, 'I will, Messenger of God!' and he fought hard in defence of him. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) climbed up higher, along with those men remaining 
with him. Then the ansari was killed and the enemy again caught up with them. 
Again the Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 'Will no one take care of these?' 
Talha responded as before and the Messenger of God (SAAS) said as before. 
Another of the ansar then said, 'I will, Messenger of God!' And he fought on 
while his companions went on up. Eventually he was killed, and the polytheists 
caught up with them. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) kept on saying as he had the first time, with 
Talha always volunteering, but being restrained, and another of the ansar asking 
permission to do battle. He would be permitted to do so and would fight on as 
had those before him, 

"Eventually only Talha was left with him. The enemy was again attacking 
them, so the Messenger of God (SAAS) asked once mOre, 'Will no one take care 
of these?' Talha responded that he would and he fought on as had all those before 
him. He was injured in his fingertips and called out in pain. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) commented, 'If you had called out the words, 'In God's name!' 
the angels would have raised you up while everyone looked on at you, until they 
carried you right on up into the air of heaven.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
then climbed up to join his men who were gathered there." 

Al-Bukhari related, from c Abd Allah b. Abu Shayba, from Waki c , from 
Isma'll, from Qays b. Abu Hazim, who stated, "I saw Talha's hand to be a 
stump, and with it he defended the Messenger of God (SAAS), at the battle 
of Uhud." 

In both sahih collections there is a hadtth of Musa b. Isma'll, from Mu c tamir 
b. Sulayman, from his father, from Abu fUfhman al-Nahdi, who said, "During 
some of those days when he engaged in battle, no one remained with the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), except Talha and Sa<d, according to their accounts." 

Al-Hasan b. c Arafa stated that it was related to him by Marwan b. Mu'awiyya, 
from Hashim b. Hashim al-Sa<di, who said, "I heard Sa^d b. al-Musayyab say, 
'I heard Sa c d b. Abu Waqqas state, "The Messenger of God (SAAS), took the 
arrows out of his quiver for me at the battle of Uhud and said, 'Shoot, may my 
father and mother be your ransom!""" 

Al-Bukhari derived this hadith from c Abd Allah b. Muhammad, from Marwan. 



IMAM ABU AL FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 37 

In the sahih collection of al-Bukhari, there is a hadith traced from c Abd Allah 
b. Shaddad who quoted c Ali b. Abu Talib as follows, "I never heard the Prophet 
(SAAS) swear by both his parents to anyone except Sa'd b. Malik. At Uhud I 
heard him say, 'Sa c d, shoot, may my father and my mother be your ransom!'" 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated that it was related to him by a member of Sa^'s 
family, Salih b. Kaysan, from Sa<d b. Abu Waqqas., that at Uhud he shot his 
arrows from directly in front of the Messenger of God (SAAS). Sa c d said, "I 
saw the Messenger of God (SAAS) say, 'Shoot, may my father and my mother 
be your ransom!' He even handed me arrows without points, saying, 'Shoot 
with this!'" 

It is established in both sahih collections, from a hadith of Ibrahim b. Sa*d, 
from his father, from his grandfather, that Sa c d b. Aba Waqqas said, "At the 
battle of Uhud I saw to the right and to the left of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) two men dressed in white who were fighting fiercely; I never saw them 
before that, and I never saw them thereafter." He was referring to Gabriel and 
to Michael, peace be upon them both. 

Ahmad stated, " { Affan related to us and Thabit recounted to us, from Anas, 
that at the battle of Uhud Abu Talha was shooting from directly in front of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) who was shielding himself behind him. As he shot, 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) would raise himself up to see where the arrows 
would strike. At this Abu Talha would say, as he brought his chest up to its full 
height, 'Let it be so, may my father and my mother be your ransom, Messenger 
of God; no arrow will hit you. My chest will be in the way of yours.' Abu Talha 
would position himself directly before the Messenger of God (SAAS) and say, 
'I am sturdy, Messenger of God. Direct me according to your needs and order 
me to do whatever you want.'" 

Al-Bukhari stated that Abu Ma e mar - c Abd Allah b. c Amr al- c Aqdi, that is 
- related to him, quoting <Abd al-Warith, quoting c Abd al- c Aziz (b. Suhayb), 
from Anas, who said, "When the battle of Uhud occurred the men fled in defeat 
away from the Messenger of God (SAAS). Meanwhile Abu Talha was directly 
in front of him, protecting him with a leather shield he had. Abu T a lha was a 
marksman and a very vigorous man who broke two or three bows that day. As 
the man with the leather bag of arrows would pass, he (the Prophet) would say, 
'Hand them over to Abu Talha.'" 

He went on, "The Prophet (SAAS) would rise up to observe the enemy and 
Abu Talha would say, 'May my father and mother be your ransom! Don't stand 
up! An enemy arrow may strike you. My body shields yours.' And I saw c A>isha, 
daughter of AbO Bakr, and Umm Sulaym with their garments tucked up so that 
I could see their anklets, carrying water containers on their backs that they would 
empty into the mouths of the troops, return to refill them and empty them as 
before. The sword fell from the hands of Abu Talha twice or thrice." 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Khalifa told me, 'Yazid b. Zari c related to us, quoting 
Sa c ld, from Qatada, from Anas, from Abu Talha, who said, "I was one of those 



3 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

overcome by lassitude at the battle of Uhud, so that my sword kept falling 
from my hands. It would fall and I would pick it up once more." '" 

AI-Bukharl reported it thus, along with an affirmative commentary. In 
testimonial of this there are the words of God Almighty, "Then He sent down 
upon you, after sorrow, a sense of security, a lassitude overcoming a group of 
you. Another group had been made anxious by themselves; they have incorrect 
thoughts about God, thoughts of ignorance, saying, 'Does the matter affect us at 
all?' Say: 'The entire matter is in God's hands.' They conceal within their souls 
what they would not reveal to you. They say, 'Had we had any hand in this, we 
would not have been killed here.' Say: 'Even if you had stayed at home, those 
destined for being killed would still have gone forth to the places where they 
died. And so that God would test what was in your hearts and that He might 
purge what was in your hearts. And God knows what is inside one's heart. Those 
of you who retreated on the day the two forces met were merely induced by 
Satan who made them slip on account of some things they had done. God, 
however, has pardoned them, for God is Forgiving, Merciful" {sural Al l Imran; 
III, v.153, 4). 

AI-Bukharl stated that <Abdan - <Abd Allah b. 'Uthman al-MarwazI - related 
to him, quoting Abu Hamza, from c Uthman b. Mawhab, who said, "A man 
arrived to make the pilgrimage to the ka l ba. He saw a group seated and asked, 
'Who are those people seated?' He (IJthman b. Mawhab) replied, 'They are men 
of Quraysh' The man then asked, 'And who is the sheikh, the elder?' 'He's Ibn 
t Umar,' they told him. The man then went over to him and said, 'I'd like to have 
you respond to something I ask you. Please, I charge you by the sanctity of this 
place, do you know if 'Uthman b. c Affan fled from the batde of Uhud?' 'Yes,' the 
sheikh replied. The man asked, 'And do you know him to have been absent from 
Badr, and not to have witnessed it?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'And do you know that he 
missed the bay^at al-ridwan, "the pledge of willingness", and did not witness 
it?' 'Yes,' he replied again. The man then, in satisfaction, affirmed the greatness 
of God. 

"Ibn f Umar then said, 'Come on over so I can tell you more, and explain 
more about what you asked me. Regarding his fleeing at Uhud, I bear witness 
that God forgave him. Regarding his absence from Badr, his wife was the 
daughter of the Prophet (SAAS) and she was ill. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
told him, 'You will receive the same full share of the spoils as a man who was 
present at Badr.' 

"Regarding his absence from the bay c at al-ridwan, if there had been anyone 
more respected in the valley of Mecca than ^Uthman b. c Affan, he would 
have sent him in his place. The baycat al-ridwan took place after c Uthman had 
gone to Mecca. And the Prophet (SAAS) said, referring to his right hand, 'This 
is 'Uthman's hand.' He then clasped It to his other hand, saying, 'This is for 
c Uthman.' 

'"Now take this information away with you,' Ibn c Umar told him." 



IMAM ABO AL-FID A> ISM A £ IL IBN KATHI R 39 

Al-Bukhari also related this in another place. AL~Tirmidhi's hadith has a 
chain of authorities from Abu ^wana, from 'Uthman b. ( Abd Allah b, Mawhab. 

Al-Umawi, in his military chronicle, quoted Ibn Ishaq as saying, "Yahya b. 
c Abbad related to me, from his father, from his grandfather, who said, 'I heard 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) say, on the occasion when his men had fled 
in defeat away from him, some of them going as far as the sandy hillock below 
al-A^was, while 'Uthman b. c Affan and Sa c d b. "Uthman, one of the ansar, had 
fled and reached al-Jal'ab, a mountain near Medina, adjoining al-A c was. They 
stayed three nights there, then returned. They claim that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) told them, 'You went there by chance.'" 

All this shows that at Uhud some of the same things happened as at Badr. One 
such is the occurrence of the nu l ds, the lassitude, amidst the warfare. This is an 
indication of their security of mind in God's help, and the totality of their 
reliance upon their Creator and Exculpator. 

Comment has been previously made concerning the words of God Almighty 
concerning the expedition to Badr: "When He made lassitude overcome you as 
a security from Him" (surat al-Anfal; VIII, v. 11). Regarding Uhud, He stated, 
"Then He sent down upon you, after sorrow, a sense of security, a lassitude 
overcoming a group of you" (surat Al- c Itnran; III, v.153). The reference here is 
to the perfect Muslims. As Ibn Mas^d and others of the early authorities stated, 
"Lassitude in war stems from faith, while lassitude in prayer stems from 
hypocrisy. This is why God stated thereafter, 'another group had been made 
anxious by themselves'" (surat al-Anfal; VIII, v.ll). And another similarity is 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) appealed for help at Uhud as he had at Badr, 
saying, "If it is Your wish, You will no longer be worshipped on earth." 

As Imam Ahmad stated, " c Abd al-Samad and c Affan both related to us, as 
follows, 'Hammad related to us, quoting Thabit, from Anas, that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) said at the battle of Uhud, "O God, if it is Your wish, You will 
no longer be worshipped on earth."'" 

Muslim related it from Hajjaj b. al-Shalr, from c Abd al-Samad, from 
Hammad b. Salama. 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Abd Allah b. Muhammad related to him, quoting 
Sufyan, from c Amr, who heard Jabir b. { Abd Allah say, "At the battle of Uhud 
a man said to the Prophet (SAAS) 'If I am killed, where will I then be?' 'In 
heaven,' he replied. Thereupon the man threw the dates out of his hand and 
fought until he was killed." 

Muslim and al-Nasa'I related this from a hadith of Sufyan b. c Uyayna. 

And this is similar to the story of ^mayr b. al-HumSm, which is given 
above relating to the expedition to Badr. May God be pleased with both these 
authorities. 



40 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Section: Concerning the treatment received that day by the Prophet (SAAS) 
from the polytheists, Goddamn them! 

Al-Bukhari gives a section entitled: "On the injuries done to the Prophet 
(SAAS) at the battle of Uhud." 

He went on, "Ishaq b. Nasr related to us, quoting <Abd al-Razzaq, from 
Hammam b. Munabbih, who heard Abu Hurayra say, 'The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) said, "The wrath of God is great towards those who did this" (pointing 
to his lower teeth) "to His prophet. Great is God's wrath towards a man whom 
the Messenger of God kills in God's cause!"'" 

Muslim related this through c Abd al-Razzaq. Makhlad b. Malik related to us, 
quoting Yahya b, Sa'id al-Umawi, quoting Ibn Jurayj from 'Amrb. Dinar, from 
Ikrima, from Ibn c Abbas, who said, "Great was the wrath of God against those 
whom the Prophet (SAAS) killed in God's cause. Great was the wrath of God 
against a people who bloodied the face of the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

(Imam) Ahmad stated that c Affan related to him, quoting HammSd, quoting 
Thabit, from Anas, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said at the battle of 
Uhud as he wiped the blood from his face, "How could any people prosper 
who struck their prophet and broke his front teeth while he called people to 
God?" And God sent down, "It is not your business whether He forgives them 
or punishes them; they are wrong-doers" (surat At- l Imran; III, v. 127). 

Muslim related this from al~Qa e nabi, from Hammad b. Salama. 

Imam Ahmad related it from Hushaym and Yazld b. Harun, from Humayd, 
from Anas, who said that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had his front teeth 
broken and was struck in the face so that his blood flowed, and that he said, 
"How could a people prosper who did this to their prophet while he was calling 
them to their Lord?" And so God Almighty sent down, "It is not your business" 
(suratAl-^Imran; III, v. 127). 

Al-Bukhari stated that Qutayba related to him, quoting Ya^qub, from Abu 
Hazim, who heard Sahl b. Sa<d being asked about the injuries suffered by the 
Prophet (SAAS). He said, "I swear by God, I certainly do know who it was who 
washed the wounds of the Messenger of God (SAAS), who poured the water and 
with what he was treated. Fatima, his daughter washed him, and ( All poured the 
water from a shield. When Fatima saw that the water was only increasing the 
blood flow, she took a piece of matting, set fire to it, then attached it to the 
wound; the blood ceased flowing. And his front tooth was broken that day, his 
face was wounded, and his helmet was crushed on to his head." 

Abu Da°ud al-Tayalisl stated in his Musnad hadith collection, that Ibn afMubarak 
related to him, from Ishaq, from Yahya b. Talha b. c Ubayd Allah quoting Tsa b. 
Talha from 'A'isha, umm al-mti'mimn, the "mother of the believers", as having 
stated, "Abu Bakr would say, regarding Uhud, 'AH credit that day was due to 
Talha!' He then would relate as follows, 'I was the first one to return. I saw a man 
fighting hard in front of him in God's cause. I saw him shout, "To the defence!" 



IMA M ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISM A <IL IBN KATHI R 4 1 

I responded, "(Let it) be Talha!" having lost track of things. Then I told 
myself, "I hope he is someone from my own people." Between myself and the 
polytheists there was a man I did not know. I was closer to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) than he was, but he walked faster than I did. Then I saw him to be 
Abu c Ubayda b. al-Jarrah. When we reached the Messenger of God (SAAS) his 
front teeth had been broken and his face had been gashed. Two links from the 
chain-mail of his helmet had pierced his cheek. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
said, "Both of you, take care of your companion!" meaning Talha, He was 
bleeding profusely, but we disregarded his words."' 

He went on, '"I went over to pull it out of his face, but he (Abu IJbayda) 
said, "I insist on my right of you letting me do it." I left him to do it, but he was 
reluctant to take it in his hand and so hurt the Messenger of God (SAAS). So he 
put his mouth over it and drew out a link, one of the front teeth falling with it. 
I then went over to do as he had, but he said again, "I insist on my right of you 
letting me do it." He then did as he had before and the other tooth dropped along 
with the link. It turned out that Abu < Ubayda was great at tooth extraction! 

" 'Having treated the Messenger of God (SAAS) we then went over to Talha 
who was in one of the pits there. He had some 70 wounds, including spear 
thrusts, arrow wounds and cuts. His fingers had been sliced off. We gave him 
treatment.'" 

Al-Waqidi recounted, from the son of Abu Sabra, from Ishaq b. c Abd Allah b. 
Abu Farwa, from Abu al-Huwayrith, from Nafi c b. Jubayr, who said, "I heard 
one of the muhajirin saying, 'I was present at Uhud and saw the arrows coming 
in from all directions, with the Messenger of God (SAAS) right in their middle, 
but all of them were diverted from him. And I saw c Abd Allah b. Shihab al-Zuhri 
that day as he said, "Direct me to Muhammad; I'll not survive if he does." The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) was right there at his side, with no one else with him. 
He went on past and Safwan b. Umayya criticized him for that. ( Abd Allah 
responded, "By God, I didn't see him! I swear by God, he is forbidden to us. 
There were four of us who agreed together and made a pact to kill him, but we 
couldn't get to him."'" 

Al-Waqidi stated, "In my opinion, it is well established that it was Ibn Qami'a 
who shot the Messenger of God (SAAS) in the cheek and 'Utba b. Abu Waqqas 
who hit him in the lip and struck his lower teeth." 

An account similar to this has been given above from Ibn Ishaq; it states that 
his front tooth that was broken was his lower left incisor. 

Ibn Ishaq stated that Salih b. Kaysan related to him, from someone who 
related it to him, on the authority of Sa<d b. Abu Waqqas, who said, "I was never 
more determined to kill anyone than I was to kill 'Utba b. Abu Waqqas; I knew 
him to be a man of evil character and hated by his people. And the statement 
made by the Messenger of God (SAAS) was enough for me - that 'Great is 
God's wrath against those who bloodied the face of His messenger.'" 



42 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

c Abd al-Razzaq stated that Ma c mar related to him, from al-Zuhrl, from 
tlthman al-Harurl, from Miqsam, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) spoke a 
curse against ^tba b. Abu Waqqas when he broke his lower teeth and bloodied 
his face, saying, "O God, may change not come to him, so that he dies an 
unbeliever!" 

And no change did come over him, so that he did die an unbeliever, bound 
for hell-fire. 

Abu Sulayman al-Jawzajani stated, that Muhammad b. al-Hasan related to 
him, quoting Ibrahim b. Muhammad b. <Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Abu Bakr 
b. Harb, from his father, from Abu Umama Sahl b. Hanlf, to the effect that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) treated his face at Uhud with a dried bone. 

This hadlth is gharib, "unilateral", and I found it in the military chronicle of 
al-Umawi regarding the battle of Uhud. 

When he had done injury to the Messenger of God (SAAS), <Abd Allah b. 
QamPa went back and said, "I've killed Muhammad!" And on that occasion 
that devil the Hzb 9 of aMAqaba shouted at the top of its voice, "Hear this! 
Muhammad has been killed!" 

Consternation spread among the Muslims. Many people believed it, and yet 
remained determined to fight on in defence of Islam until they died in the same 
way as had the Messenger of God (SAAS). Anas b. al-Nadr and others of whom 
mention will be made were among these. 

Almighty God had sent down consolatory verses to deal with this eventuality. 
He had stated, "And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; messengers have 
passed away before him. And if he dies or is killed, will you turn on your heels? 
Whoever should turn on his heels will do no harm to God thereby. And God will 
reward the grateful. And no soul shall die except with God's permission at a 
specified time. And whoever desires the rewards of this world, those We will 
give him; and whoever desires the rewards of the hereafter We will give him 
those. We will reward the grateful. And many are the prophets who have fought 
along with many worshippers! And they did not weaken because of what befell 
them in God's cause. They neither weakened nor abased themselves. God loves 
those who stand firm. And what they said was merely, 'O God of ours, forgive 
us our sins and our excesses! Set our feet firmly and give us victory against the 
disbelieving enemy!' And so God did give them the reward of this world and 
the fine reward of the hereafter; God does love those who do good. O you who 
believe, if you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you back on your heels 
and you will go back having lost. But God is indeed your master and He is best 
of all helpers. We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for their 
having associated with God that for which He sent down no authority. Hell-fire 
shall be their abode. And terrible is the abode of the unjust!" (surat Al-^Imran; 
HI, v. 143-50). 

9. See above, Vol. II, pp. 138 ref. "Azabb of al- c Aqaba". 



IMA M ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA <IL IBN KATHIR 43 

Abu Bakr, "the trusting", made an address at the first assembly he held 
following the death of the Messenger of God (SAAS) in which he said, "O my 
people, regarding those who worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad has died. 
Regarding those who worshipped God, God is alive and shall not die!" He 
then recited this verse: "And Muhammad is no more than a messenger." He 
said, "It was as though the people had never heard this before, and so all, without 
exception, recited it thereafter." 

Al-Bayhaqi related in his DalaHl al-Nubuwwa (Signs of the Prophethood), 
through Ibn Abu Najlh, from his father, who said, "At Uhud, one of the 
muhajirin passed by one of the ansar, a man who was covered in his own blood, 
and asked him, 'Are you aware that Muhammad has been killed?' The ansari 
responded, 'If Muhammad (SAAS) has been killed, then he must have fulfilled 
his mission! So fight on for your religion!' 

"And so the verse was revealed, 'And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; 
messengers have passed away before him.'" 

That ansari might well have been Anas b. al-Nadr, may God be pleased with 
him; he was the uncle of Anas b. Malik. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Yazid related to us, quoting Hamld, from Anas, that 
his uncle was absent from the fighting at Badr and said, 'I was absent from the 
first battle fought by the Prophet (SAAS) against the polytheists; if God should 
have me witness a battle against the polytheists, I'll certainly show him what I 
can do!' 

"When, at the battle of Uhud, the Muslims gave way, he said, 'O God, I 
apologize to you for what these men have done' — meaning his fellow fighters 

- 'and I declare myself innocent of what these others' — meaning the polytheists 

- have done against You.' He then advanced and was met before Uhud by Sa<d 
b. Mu'adh. Sa<d told him, 'I am with you!' And Sa^ also said, 'But I could not 
do what he did.' 

"Some 80 wounds were found on him, consisting of sword cuts, spear thrusts 
and arrow punctures." 

He went on, "We used to say that it was about him and his Companions 
that the verse was revealed, 'and of them there are those who fulfilled their vow; 
and of them there are those who wait'" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.23). 

Al-Tirmidhi related this from c Abd b. Hamid; al-Nasa'i related it from Ishaq 
b. Rahawayh; both gave Yazid b. Harun as a link. Al-Tirmidhi stated, "This 
tradition is hasan, 'good'." 

I would comment that this hadith conforms to the criteria of the sahih 
collections, from this source. 

Imam Ahmad stated that both Bahz and Hashim related to him that Sulayman 
b. al-Mughlra quoted Thabit as having said, "Anas (b. Malik) stated, 'My uncle' 

- Hashim gave his name as Anas b. al-Nadr — 'was the one for whom I was 
named. He was not present at Badr. This fact troubled him, and so he said, 
"I was absent from the first battle fought by the Messenger of God (SAAS); if 



44 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

God allows me to participate with him later in another battle, then he will 
certainly see what it is I can do!""' 

He (Anas b. Malik) went on, "He was too much in awe to say anything 
different. And he was present at Uhud with the Messenger of God (SAAS). He 
met up with Sa ( d b. Mu*adh, and Anas asked him, 'Abo c Amr, where to? How 
wonderful is the fragrance of paradise I sense before Uhud!'" 

He (Anas b. Malik) continued, "He fought them until he was killed. Some 80 
wounds were found on his body - sword cuts, spear thrusts and arrow punctures. 
His sister, my aunt al-Rabi c , daughter of al-Nadr, said, 'I only recognized my 
brother by his fingertips.' And this verse was revealed, 'and of them are those 
who fulfilled their vow, and of them there are those who wait - and they have 
not changed at all'" (sural al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v. 23). 

He concluded, "They used to consider that this verse was revealed about him 
and his Companions." 

Muslim related this from Muhammad b. Hatim, from Bahz b. Asad. AI- 
Tirmidhl and al-Nasa'I related it from a hadith of c Abd Allah b. al-Mubarak. 
Al-Nasa?! added to this. Abu Da°ud and Hammad b. Sakma also gave it, and all 
four of these authorities quoted Sulayman b. al-Mughlra as a source. Al-Tirmidhi 
stated the tradition to be hasan sakik, "good and authentic". 

Abu al-Aswad stated, from c Urwa b. al-Zubayr, who said, "Ubayy b. Khalaf, 
a brother of Banii Jumuh, had made an oath in Mecca that he would certainly kill 
the Messenger of God (SAAS). When news of the oath reached him, he said, 
'•No; I will kill him, if God wills it!' 

"When it was time for the battle of Uhud, Ubayy came forth armoured and 
helmeted, saying, 'I will not live on if Muhammad does!' He attacked the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) trying to kill him, but Mus'ab b. ^Umayr, a brother 
of Banu c Abd al-Dar, met him in defence of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 
Mus^ab b. *Umayr was killed. The Messenger of God (SAAS) noticed that 
Ubayy's collarbone was visible between his helmet and his suit of chain-mail, 
and so he thrust him there with his spear. Ubayy fell from his horse, though no 
blood was coming from his wound. 

"His companions came and carried him off; he was bellowing like a bull, but 
people told him, 'He's not harmed you; it's just a scratch.' 

"He then told them of what the Messenger of God (SAAS) had said, namely 
that he would kill Ubayy. He then said, 'I swear by Him who holds my soul in 
His hand, if what afflicts me were to afflict all the people of Dhu al-Majaz, they'd 
all die of it!' 

"And he did die and go to hell; and damned be all the denizens of hell-fire!" 

Musa b. <Uqba related this tradition in his military chronicle, from al-Zuhri, 
from Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, in similar terms. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) made his way up into 
the defile, Ubayy b. Khalaf caught up with him and said, 'I shall not live on if 
you do!' 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 45 

"The Muslims asked, 'O Messenger of God, should one of our men go for 
him?' He replied, 'Just leave him alone.' 

"When Ubayy came close, the Messenger of God (SAAS) took a spear from 
al-Harith b. al-Summa. Some people said, as I have been told, that when the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) took it from him, he shook himself so hard that they 
flew off away from him like a hair from the back of a camel stung by a fly! The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) then went towards Ubayy and thrust him in the neck, 
so that he swayed back and forth several times, then fell from his horse." • 

Al-Waqidi recounted much the same from Yunus b. Bukayr, from 
Muhammad b. Ishaq, from c Asim b. ^mar b. Qatada, from ( Abd Allah b. Ka<b 
b. Malik, from his father. 

Al-Waqidi stated that Ibn "Umar used to say, "Ubayy b. Khalaf died in 
the Rabigh valley. I was once passing through the Rabigh valley late at night 
when all of a sudden flames flared up, scaring me greatly. And there was a man 
emerging from it, dragging a chain and with a raging thirst. Then another man 
said, 'Don't give him anything to drink! He was killed by the Messenger of God 
(SAAS); this man is Ubayy b. Khalaf.'" 

This hadith is fully authenticated in both sahih collections, as stated above, 
through c Abd al-Razzaq, from Ma'mar, from Hammam, from Abu Hurayra, 
who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, "Great is God's wrath against 
a man whom the Messenger of God kills in God's cause." 

AI-Bukhari related this through Ibn Jurayj, from c Amr b. Dinar, from ^krima, 
from Ibn c Abbas, with the wording, "Great is God's wrath against someone 
killed by the hand of the Messenger of God (SAAS) in God's cause." 

Al-Bukhan stated that Abu al-Wahd said, quoting Shu'ba, from Ibn al-Munkadir, 
who said, "I heard Jabir say, 'When my father was killed, I began to weep and to 
uncover the shroud from his face. The Companions of the Messenger of God 
($AAS) stopped me, but he himself did not. Instead, he told me, 'Don't weep 
for him; the angels kept him shaded with their wings until he was raised up.'" 

This tradition is related here in this form with a full chain of authorities. In 
the section (of his work) on funerals, he (al-Bukharl) gives its provenance as 
from Bindar, from Ghundar, from Shu'ba. Muslim and al-Nasa'i related it from 
various paths, all quoting Shu'ba. 

Al^Bukhari stated that c Abdan related to him, quoting c Abd Allah b. Mubarak, 
from Shu'ba, from Sa^ b. Ibrahim, from Ibrahim's father, to the effect that <Abd 
al-Rahman b. c Awf was brought food while he was fasting. He then said, "Mus^ab 
b. 'Umayr was killed, yet he was better than me. A cloak was used as his shroud. 
If it was placed over his head, his feet were visible, while if his feet were covered 
his head was visible." He is also quoted as saying, "Hamza was killed, yet he was 
better than me, while we have been granted earthly favours." He is also quoted 
as saying, "Things have been given to us here on earth, and we fear that the 
favours have come prematurely for us." He then wept, till the food was cold. 



46 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Al-Bukhari is alone in giving this hadith. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Ahmad b. Yunus related to him, quoting Zuhayr and 
al-A<mash, from Shaqiq, from Khabbab b. al-Aratt, who said, "We went forth 
with the Prophet (SAAS), seeking to work in God's cause, and reward from God 
was our due. Some of us passed away or left without enjoying any part of their 
reward. MUs'ab b. c Umayr was one of these; he was killed at the battle of Uhud, 
leaving nothing but a woollen cloak. When we covered his head with it, his feet 
emerged. When his feet were covered with it, his head emerged. And so the 
Prophet (SAAS) told us, 'Cover his head with it and place the al-idhkar, (an 
aromatic rush), over his feet. Some of us have their fruit already ripened; he is 
harvesting them.'" 

The rest of the authorities on traditions - with the exception of Ibn Majah 
— derive it through various paths from al-A^nash. 

Al-Bukhan also stated that ^Ubayd Allah b. Said related to him, quoting Abu 
Usama, from Hisham b. 'Urwa, from his father, from c A 5 isha, who said, "When 
the battle of Uhud arrived, the polytheists were being defeated. So Satan, God 
damn him, called out, 'Worshippers of God, look to your rear!' At this the 
forward lines turned around and began battling with their rear lines. Hudhayfa 
saw his father al-Yaman right there and so he shouted, 'Worshippers of God! 
My father!'" 

c A%ha went on, "But, I swear by God they continued fighting until they 
had killed him. And Hudhayfa said, 'May God forgive them.' 

"'Urwa commented, 'I swear that goodwill continued on in Hudhayfa until 
he joined Almighty and Glorious God.'" 

I note that the reason this happened was that al-Yaman and Thabit b. Waqsh 
were back in the defences with the women because of their age and debility. The 
two men had said, "There's no more than a donkey's life-span left for our 
generation." And so they had dismounted to be there at the fighting and their 
course had taken them over towards the polytheists. Thabit was killed by the 
polytheists, while al-Yaman was killed by mistake by the Muslims. Hudhayfa 
gave up his claim against the Muslims to blood money for his father and blamed 
none of them because of the obvious excuse for it. 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "And Qatada b. al-Ntfman was struck in the eye that day, so 
that it fell out on to his cheek. The Messenger of God (SAAS) put it back in 
for him, using his hand; it was thereafter always the better and sharper of 
Qatada's eyes." 

There is a hadith from Jabir b. £ Abd Allah that Qatada b. al-Nu c man was struck 
in the eye at Uhud, so that it slipped out on to his cheek. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) put it back in its place and it was thereafter the better and sharper 
of his eyes. It did not become inflamed when his other eye was so inflicted. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 47 

Al-Darqutni related, with a hadlth that was gharib, "unilateral", from Malik, 
from Muhammad b. c Abd Allah b. Abu Sa^a^, from his father, from Abu Sa c id, 
from his brother Qatada b. al-Nu'man, who said, "Both my eyes were struck at 
Uhud and they fell out on to my cheeks. I went with them to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), and he returned them both to their places. He spat into them 
and they regained sight." 

The first version is the one generally accepted — that he was struck in the one 
eye. This is why, when his son presented himself to ^mar b. c Abd al- c Aziz, and 
the latter asked him to identify himself, he replied, in verse: 

"I'm the one whose father's eye slipped out on to his cheek 

And it was replaced most effectively by the hand of the Chosen One. 

It became again as it had been at first. 

How fine an eye it became and how fine a cheek!" 

Thereupon ^mar b. <Abd al- c Aziz responded with the line: 

"Those noble qualities were not two cups of milk mixed 
with water that would later change into urine!" 

'Umar then welcomed him and rewarded him richly; may God be pleased 
with him! 

Ibn Hisham stated, " c Umara's mother, Naslba, daughter of Ka'b al-Maziniyya, 
fought at Uhud. Sa c ld b, Abu Zayd al-Ansari recounted that Sa c d's mother, 
daughter of Sa<d b. al-Rabi c , used to say, '^Umara's mother came in to me and I 
asked her, "Aunt, tell me your story." She replied, "Early in the day I went out 
to see what our people were doing, bearing a water-skin filled with water. At the 
time I reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), who was among his Companions, 
everything was going in the Muslims' favour. When the Muslims were defeated, 
I stood near the Messenger of God (SAAS), engaging in the battle, defending him 
with my sword and shooting with my bow until I was ultimately wounded."'" 

Umm Sa c d went on, "And on her shoulder I saw a deep scar, so I asked her, 
'Who was it gave you this wound?' She replied, 'It was Ibn QamPa, God damn 
him! When our men deserted the Messenger of God (SAAS), he advanced, 
saying, "Direct me towards Muhammad; I will not live on if he survives!" 
I blocked his way, along with Mus<ab b. t Umayr and others who stayed firm 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS). It was then that he gave me this wound; and 
I struck him many times back, but that enemy of God was wearing double 
armour.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Abu Dujana shielded the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
with his own body. The arrows fell upon his back while Abu Dujana leaned 
over him." 

He continued, " c Asim b. 'Umar b. Qatada related to me that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) shot from his bow until its curved frame broke. Qatada b. 
al-Nu c man then took and kept it. 



48 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"Al-Qasim b. c Abd al-Rahman b. Rafi c related to me, he being a brother of 
Banu c Adi b. al-Najjar, as follows, 'Anas b. al-Nadr, uncle of Anas b. Malik, 
reached MJmar b. al-Khattab and Talha b. c Ubayd Allah along with some 
muhajirin and ansar who wanted to surrender. He asked them, "Why are you just 
sitting?" They replied, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) has been killed." "And 
what will you do with your lives after he has gone?" Anas asked. "Get up and 
die for the same cause as he has!" He then advanced to the enemy and fought 
until he was killed. Anas b. Malik was named after him.' " 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Humayd al-Tawil related to me, from Anas b. Malik, 
who said, 'That day we found 70 wounds on Anas b. al-Nadr. The only person 
to recognize him, from his fingertips, was his sister.'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "It was related to me by a scholar that ( Abd al-Rahman b. 
c Awf was injured in the mouth and lost some teeth; he had 20 or more wounds, 
including one in his foot, which made him lame." 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated that according to what he was told by al-Zuhri, it was Ka'h b. 
Malik who first reached the Messenger of God (SAAS) after the defeat and the 
report of his death. Ka^b said, "I saw his eyes gleaming from beneath his helmet. 
So I shouted at the top of my voice, 'Muslims! Rejoice! This is the Messenger of 
God (SAAS).' But he signalled me to be silent." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "When the Muslims recognized the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) they and he moved on together up into the defile; with him went Abu 
Bakr, 'the trusting', 'Umar b. al-Khattab, *Ali b. Abu Talib, Talha b. c Ubayd 
Allah, al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam, al-Harith b. al-Simma and a group of other 
Muslims. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had climbed up into the defile, 
Ubayy b. Khalaf caught up with him." 

Ibn Ishaq then proceeded to relate how the former killed the latter, in an 
account similar to that given above. 

He then went on, "Ubayy b. Khalaf, so it was related to me by Salih b. 
Ibrahim b. c Abd al-Rahman b. c Awf, used to tell the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
when he met him in Mecca, 'Hey, Muhammad, I've a horse, al- c Awdh, that I 
feed every day with measures of corn. I'll be riding it when I kill you!' 

"To this the Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 'No; it is I who will kill 
you, if God wills it.' 

"When Ubayy was taken back to Quraysh having suffered a small injury in his 
neck, the blood having stopped flowing, he said, 'By God, Muhammad has killed 
me!' They told him, 'You've lost your courage! You're not badly hurt.' He 
replied, 'But he told me in Mecca that he was going to kill me. And, I swear, he'd 
have killed me if he'd only spat on me!' And that enemy of God did die, at Sarif, 10 
while they were transporting him to Mecca." 

10. A place some six miles from Mecca. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMA C IL IBN KATHI R 49 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses on this: 

'He inherited evil from his father, did Ubayy, the day the Messenger engaged him 
in combat. 

You came at him, Ubayy, bearing a rotting bone, threatening him, unaware who he 
was; 

Banu al-Najjar killed Umayya from among you as he called for aid, " c AqilP'' 

Abu Rabi'a's two sons died when they obeyed Abu Jahl, bereaving their 
mother. 

Harirh escaped when we were diverted by our work in taking prisoners; capturing 
him was a trivial matter.' 

"Hassan also composed: 

'Who will be my messenger to Ubayy? You have been tossed into deepest hell. 
You longed for evil from afar and swore oaths that you were all-powerful. 
Your designs subverted you from afar, but stating disbelief results in delusion. 
You were struck by a thrust from a man with divine protection, of noble lineage, 
no sinner he. 

He has precedence over all others alive when disasters occur.' " 



Ibn Ishaq further stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) reached the 
start of the defile, c All emerged and filled up his shield with water from the well 
al~Mihras. He brought it to the Messenger of God (SAAS) so that he would drink 
from it. But the latter found it had an unpleasant odour and declined to drink 
it. But he did wash the blood from his face and poured it over his head, saying, 
'Great is God's wrath against whoever bloodies the face of His prophet!'" 

Sufficient authentic ahadith have been given above to testify to this quotation. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "While the Messenger of God (SAAS) was there in the 
defile, along with some of his Companions, a band of Quraysh warriors climbed 
on up the mountain." 

Ibn Hisham added, "Khalid b. al-WaJld was among them," 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then stated, 'O God, 
it is not fitting for them to be above us!' 

at Umar b. al-Khattab, along with a group of muhajirin, fought on until 
they forced the enemy down from the mountain. The Prophet (SAAS) arose 
to climb upon a rock but, since he was heavy due to his age and the fact that he 
was wearing a double chain-mail, he could not. Talha b. c Ubayd Allah then bent 
beneath him and lifted him up upon it. 

"Yahya b. c Abbad b. c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr related to me, from his father, 
from c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, from al-Zubayr, who said, 'I heard the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) say that day, "Talha earned his place in heaven for what he did 
that day for the Messenger of God."'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, " e Umar, the freed-man of c Afra, related that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) remained seated for the noon prayer the day of 



5 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

the battle of Uhud because of his wounds, while the Muslims remained seated 
behind him." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, " c Asim b. < Umar b. Qatada related to me as follows, 'There was 
with us a man none of us knew who went by the name of Quzman. Whenever he 
was mentioned, the Messenger of God (SAAS) would say, "He will go to hell!" 

"'At the battle of Uhud he fought very fiercely, himself killing some seven or 
eight of the polytheists. He was a man of great courage. Eventually his wounds 
disabled him, and he was carried off to the Banu Zafar quarter. 

"'Some of the Muslims told him, "You fought superbly, Quzman, cheer up!" 
"Why should I?" he replied. "It was only for my people's account that I fought; 
otherwise, I would not have." When the pain from his wounds became extreme 
he took an arrow from his quiver and used it to kill himself.'" 

A story similar to this is also given regarding the fighting at Khaybar, as will 
be told hereafter, if God wills it. 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Abd al-Razzaq related to us, quoting Ma c mar, from 
al-Zuhrl, from al-Musayyab, from Abu Hurayra, who said, 'We were present 
along with the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Khaybar, and there was one man 
claiming to be a Muslim of whom he said, "He'll go to hell." 

'"When the fighting began, the man fought most bravely and he was 
wounded. Someone told the Messenger of God (SAAS), "The man you said was 
going to hell fought most bravely, but now he's dead." The Prophet (SAAS) 
said, "He's gone to hell." 

"'Some of our men were almost sceptical about this, and while they were 
in this state it was announced that he had not died, though he was gravely 
wounded. That night he could no longer stand the pain of his injuries and so 
he killed himself. 

'"When the Prophet (SAAS) was told of this, he proclaimed, "AHahu Akbarl 
God is Most Great! I testify that I am God's servant and His messenger!" 

"'He then ordered Bilal to call out among the Muslims, "Only a Muslim soul 
shall enter paradise! And God even aids this religion by using sinners!"'" 

The compilers of both sahth collections gave this tradition from one of c Abd 
al-Razzaq. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "At Uhud, one of those killed was Mukhayriq. He was of Banu 
Thalaba b. al-Fityawn. On the day of the battle of Uhud he proclaimed, 'O 
Jews, you have learned, I swear by God, that it is your duty to help Muhammad 
to victory.' They responded, 'But today is the sabbath.' 'You shall have no 
sabbath,' he insisted. 

"He then took his sword and equipment saying, 'If I should fall, then my 
wealth goes to Muhammad to do with as he wishes.' 

"He then went to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and fought along with him 
until he was killed. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 5 1 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, so I have been told, 'Mukhayrlq is 
the very best of the Jews.'" 

Al-Suhayli stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) converted Mukhayiiq's 
property, consisting of seven orchards, into a maqf, a charitable endowment, in 
Medina." 

Muhammad b. Ka'b al-QurazI stated, "This was Medina's very first waqfr 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Al-Husayn b. c Abd al~Rahman b. ^(Jmar b. Sa<d b. Mu'adh 
related to me, from Abu Sufyan, the freed-man of Abu Ahmad's son, from Abu 
Hurayra, that the last-mentioned used to say, 'Tell me which man it was who 
entered paradise without ever having performed the prayer?' 

"If those there did not know who it was and asked him, he would reply, 
'Usayrim of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal, <Amr b. Thabit b. Waqsh.'" 

Al-Husayn went on, "I asked Mahmud b. Asad, 'Tell me about al-Usayrim.' 
He replied, 'He used to deny Islam despite his own people's acceptance of it. 
But when the day for Uhud arrived, he accepted Islam. He then took his sword 
and piled into the thick of the fray, fighting on until overcome by wounds. When 
some of Banu { Abd al-Ashhal were searching out those of them killed in the 
battle, they came upon him. They commented, "By God, this man is al-Usayrim; 
what brought him here? When we left him he was against this event." They 
asked him, "What brought you here, c Amr? Was it your concern for your 
people, or a desire for Islam?" 

"'"It was my desire for Islam,' he replied. 'I have come to believe in God and 
His messenger and I have accepted Islam. I took my sword and joined the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) and fought until I was injured.' 

'"Soon thereafter he died in their arms. When they told the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) he said, "He has gone to paradise."'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "My father related to me, from elders of Banu Salama, 
who said, ' ( Amr b. al~Jamuh was a man who was exceedingly lame. He had four 
sons who fought battles like lions alongside the Messenger of God (SAAS). 
When it came time for the battle of Uhud, they wanted to restrain c Amr, saying 
that God had excused him. So he went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and 
said, "My sons want to restrain me from going forth to battle with you. But, by 
God, I hope to set foot in paradise despite my lameness!" 

'"The Messenger of God (SAAS) told him, "Regarding yourself, God has 
indeed excused you; it is not your duty to fight." Then he addressed the 
sons, saying, "It is your duty not to restrain him; God might well grant him 
martyrdom." 

" 'And so al-Jamuh did accompany him to battle and he was killed at Uhud. 
May God be pleased with him.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "As Salih b. Kaysan related to me, Hind, daughter of c Utba, 
along with other women, mutilated the bodies of the dead Companions of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), cutting off their ears and their noses. Hind would 



52 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

make the noses and ears of the men into anklets, necklaces and pendants and 
then give them over to Wahshi. She also cut open Hamza's liver and chewed 
it. But she couldn't swallow it and so she spat it out." 

Musa b. 'Uqba related that it was Wahshi who cut open Hamza's liver 
and then took it to Hind who chewed it but was unable to swallow it. But God 
knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hind then climbed upon a rock overlooking the place and, 
at the top of her voice, spoke the following verses, 

'We've now repaid you for the battle of Badr and terrible is the warfare that follows 
war! 

I could not stand the loss of 'Utba, of my brother, of his uncle, and of my first-born 
son. 

Now I have assuaged myself and fulfilled my vow; you, Wahshi, have relieved my 
burning breast. 

My thanks to Wahshi will be due for all my life, until my bones rot in my grave.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "She was answered by Hind, daughter of Athatha b. 'Abbad 
b. al-Muttalib, who recited, 

'You were dishonoured at Badr and after Badr too, you daughter of a worthless 
fellow extreme in his disbelief! 

God brought against you in the early dawn tall, fit Hashunite warriors 

Each man wielding his sharp sword, Hamza, my lion, 'All, my falcon. 

When Shayb and your father sought to deceive me, they put sacrificial blood upon 
their chests; 

Your oath was evil in the extreme.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Al-Hulays b. Zabban, a brother of Banu al-H3rith b. c Abd 
Manat, who was at that time commander of the Abyssinian levies, passed by Abu 
Sufyan while he was striking the jawbone of Hamza b. ( Abd al-Muttalib with the 
tip of his spear and saying, 'Taste this, traitor!' 

"At this al-Hulays asked, 'Banu Kinana, tell me, can this really be, as you see, 
the Lord of Quraysh mutilating the flesh of his cousin?' 

"The reply came, 'Confound you, keep quiet about this; it was done in error.' " 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When wishing to depart, Abu Sufyan ascended the mountain 
and shouted at the top of his voice, 'A splendid achievement! Warfare goes in 
cycles. This day for that at Badr! Arise, Hubal!' By this he meant, 'Hubal, your 
religion triumphs.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) said to UJmar, 'Get up, IJmar, and respond 
to him. Say, "God is far higher and more glorious! There is no equivalence: our 
dead are in paradise, yours in hell." ' 

"Abu Sufyan then said, 'Come on up to me, c Umar!' The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) told IJmar, 'Go to him and see what he wants.' 



IMA M ABO AL-FID A > ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 53 

"Vmar did so and Abu Sufyan told him, 'I adjure you by God, 'Umar, have 
we killed Muhammad?' 'Umar replied, 'I swear by God, no; he is listening now 
to your words.' Abu Sufyan commented, *I consider you more truthful and 
artless than Ibn QamPa.'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Then Abu Sufyan called out, 'Some mutilation was 
done to your men. I swear this neither pleased nor angered me; I neither ordered 
nor forbad it.' 

"As Abu Sufyan moved off, he called out, 'We have an appointment with you 
next year, at Badr!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) told one of his men to reply, 'Say: "Yes there 
is indeed an appointment we have with you.'"" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then despatched 'All b. 
Abu Talib saying, 'Follow after the enemy and see what they do and plan. If 
they lead their horses and ride their camels, then they will be heading for Mecca. 
If they ride the horses and lead the camels, they will be heading for Medina. By 
Him in whose hands is my soul, if they head for Medina, I'll fight them there 
and annihilate them!' 

" c Ali said, 'So I followed them to see what they would do; they led their 
horses and rode their camels and headed for Mecca.' " 



An Account of the prayers that the Prophet (SAAS) 
spoke after the battle ofUhud. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Marwan b. Mu'awiya al-Fazari related to him, quoting 
'Abd al-Wahid b. Ayman al-Makkl, from Ibn Rifa'a al-Zurqi, from his 
father, who said, "When the poly theists withdrew after the battle of Uhud, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Stand up, so that I may give praise to my Lord, 
Almighty and Glorious is He.' The Muslims assembled behind him in ranks 
and he then said, 'O God, to You is due all praise. O God, there is no grasping 
what You have dispersed, nor dispersing what You grasp. There is no guiding 
aright those whom You have led astray, nor any leading astray of those You have 
guided. There is no giving of what You have prevented, nor any prevention of 
what You have given. There is no drawing close what You have distanced, nor 
any distancing what You have drawn close. O God, spread forth Your blessings, 
Your mercy, Your generosity and Your favours upon us. 

"'O God, I ask of You those enduring blessings that never change nor cease. 
O God, I ask You for blessings at a time of deprivation, and security at a time of 
fear. 

"'O God, I seek refuge with You against the evil of what You have given us, 
as well as from the evil from which You have saved us. 



54 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"'O God, have us view faith with favour, and endear it to us well. Have us 
view disbelief, immorality and disobedience with antipathy. Place us among 
those who are well-guided. 

"'O God, take us to Yourself as Muslims and give us life as Muslims. Place 
us among the virtuous, not the shamed or the demented. 

"'0 God, do battle with those disbelievers who give the lie to Your messengers 
and who oppose them. Torment and punish them. O God, do battle against 
those disbelievers who were given the scripture, O God of the Truth!'" 

Al-Nasa*! related this in his work al-Yawm wa al-Layla (Day and Night) from 
Ziyad b. Ayyub, from Marwan b. Mu'awiya, from c Abd al-Wahid b. Ayman, 
from "Ubayd b. Rifa c a, from his father. 

Chapter. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Muslims looked for their dead. Muhammad b. 'Abd 
Allah b. c Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Sa^'a al-Mazini, a brother of Banu al-Najjar, 
related to me that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Who will find out for me 
what became of Sa<d b. al-Rabl { , whether he is alive or dead?' One of the ansar 
said he would. 

"He searched and found him wounded and barely alive amidst the dead. The 
ansari told him, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered me to find out whether 
you are among the living or the dead.' Sa^ replied, 'I'm among the dead; inform 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) of this: "Sa'd b. al-Rabl' says to you: 'May God 
reward you on our account better than He ever rewarded any prophet on account 
of his nation.' And greet your people from me and tell them: 'Sa^ b. al-Rabl c 
says to you, 'You will find no excuse with God if harm comes to your prophet 
while you still have one eye to blink!' " ' 

"Thereupon he died. I went to the Prophet (SAAS) and told him what had 
happened to him." 

I would observe that the ansari who found Sa^ among the dead was 
Ip&uhammad b. Salama, according to Muhammad b. IJmar al-Waqidl. He related 
that he called out to him twice without him replying, but that when he said that 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) had ordered him to locate him, he responded to 
him in a very weak voice. 

Sheikh Abu 'Umar stated in his work al-Istfiab, "The man who located Sa'd 
was Ubayy b. Ka^." But God knows best. 

Sa*d b. aI-Rabi c , God be pleased with him, was one of the leaders at the pledge 
of al- c Aqaba. It was he whom the Messenger of God (SAAS) established as the 
brother of c Abd al-Rahman b. <Awf. 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) set off, so I have been 
told, to locate Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib. He found him in the middle of the 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 55 

valley, his liver having been cut from his mutilated body, from which his nose 
and ears had been removed. 

"Muhammad b. Ja c far b. al-Zubayr related to me that the Messenger of God 
{SAAS) said, when he saw the sight, 'If it were not for the sorrow it would cause 
Safiyya and become a tradition after myself, I would leave him here to find his 
way into the stomachs of wild beasts and the crops of birds. And if God gives 
me victory over Quraysh anywhere else, I will have 30 of their men mutilated!' 

"When the Muslims saw the sadness of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his 
anger at those who had done this to his uncle, they determined to mutilate their 
enemy as no Arabs had ever done if God one day gave them victory over them." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Burayda b. Sufyan b. Farwa al-Aslami related to me, 
from Muhammad b. Ka'b, and another reliable source related to me from Ibn 
c Abbas, that in that regard God revealed the verse, 'If you inflict punishment 
then do so in the like manner that you were punished; but if you are patient, 
it is indeed better for those who are patient' (surat al-Nahl; XVI, v. 126). 

"And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) forgave, was patient and forbad 
mutilation." 

I observe that this verse was revealed in Mecca. And the battle of Uhud 
occurred three years after the Hijra. How, then, could this relate? But God 
knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Humayd al-Tawll related to me, from al-Hasan, from 
Samura, who said, 'Whenever the Messenger of God (SAAS) made a stop 
somewhere he would always before he left enjoin charity and forbid mutilation.' " 

Ibn Hisham stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) stood over Hamza, 
he said, 'I shall never be afflicted as you have been; I have never experienced 
anything that has angered me more than this!' He then said, 'Gabriel came to me 
and told me that Hamza's name is written in the seven heavens in the words, 
"Hamza, the son of <Abd al-Muttalib - lion of God and Hon of His messenger." ' " 

Ibn Hisham also said, "Both Hamza and Abu Salama b. c Abd al-Asad were 
foster-brothers of the Messenger of God (SAAS). All three were suckled by 
Thuwayba, the freed-woman of Abu Lahab." 



An Account of the Prayers said for Hamza 
and the Dead at Uhud, 

Ibn Ishaq stated that he was told by a reliable source, from Miqsam, that Ibn 
c Abbas said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered that Hamza be covered 
with a cloak and he then prayed over him. He spoke the words, Allaku Akbar, 
'God is most Great', seven times. The other dead were then placed next to 
Hamza and he prayed over them and him together, so that a total of seventy-two 
prayers were spoken over him." 



56 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

This hadith is ghartb, "unilateral", and its line of transmission is weak. 

Al-Suhayll stated, "None of the scholars at the major centres of learning 
support this tradition." 

Imam Ahmad stated that 'Affan related to him, quoting Hammad, quoting 
c Ata° b- al-Sa^ib, from al-Sha'bi, from Ibn Mas c ud, who said, "At Uhud the 
women were following behind the Muslim fighters finishing off the polytheists 
who were wounded. If I had sworn an oath that day that I would have hoped 
to fulfil, it would have been that none of us desired this world. But this was 
before God sent down the verse, 'Some of you desired this world, while others 
of you desired the hereafter; then He turned you away from them, so that he 
might test you' {sural Al 'Imran; III, v. 151). 

"When the Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS) disobeyed the 
orders they had received, he was left with only nine men about him. Seven of 
these were ansar, two were of Quraysh; with himself added, they totalled ten men. 
When the enemy set upon him, he said, 'May God have mercy upon any man who 
repels them from us!' He continued saying this until all seven had been killed. 
Then he said to his two Companions, 'Our comrades did not treat us fairly!' 

"Then Abu Sufyan came and said, 'Arise, Hubal!' The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) told his men to respond, 'God is far higher and more glorious!' 

"To this Abu Sufyan replied, 'We have (the goddess) al- < Uzza; you have no 
Hzza, "consolation"!' 

"Abu Sufyan then called out, 'A battle for that of Badr. One for us, one against 
us. One gave us distress, one pleasure. Tit for tat. Man for man,' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 'There's no equivalence. Our dead 
live on and are rewarded; your dead are in hell being tortured.' 

"Then Abu Sufyan said, 'There has been some mutilation engaged in by our 
people, though not the result of any decision by us. I neither ordered nor forbad 
it, liked nor disliked it. It neither annoyed nor pleased me.' 

"When they searched, they found Hamza. His liver had been cut out and 
chewed by Hind, but she had been unable to swallow it. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS), asked, 'Did she eat any of it?' 'No,' they told him. He commented, 'God 
would never have allowed any part of Hamza to enter hell-fire!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) positioned Hamza and one of the dead ansar 
was brought and placed beside him. When he had prayed over them both, 
Hamza was left there, that ansari was lifted away and another was brought in his 
place. This was repeated so that he ultimately said 70 prayers over Hamza." 

Ahmad is alone in giving this hadith. And there is some weakness in its chain 
of authorities, namely relating to 'Ata b. al-Sa°ib. But God knows best. 

The account given by al-Bukharl is more solid. He stated, "Qutayba related to 
us, quoting al-Layth, from Ibn Shihab, from c Abd al-Rahman b. Ka^b b. Malik, 
(who said) that Jabir b. £ Abd Allah recounted to him that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) would place one piece of clothing over each two of the men killed at 
Uhud and then would ask, 'Which of these had a better knowledge of the 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 57 

Qur'an?' He would then place the one indicated in the grave first, saying, 'I will 
testify for these at Judgement Day.' He ordered that they be buried in their 
blood; he did not pray over them, nor were they washed." 

Al-Bukhari alone gave this; Muslim did not. Other scholars relate it from a 
hadith of al-Layth b. Sa { d. 

Ahmad stated, "Muhammad - meaning Ibn Ja c far - related to us, quoting Ibn 
Ja c far, quoting Shu^ba, having heard c Abd Rabbihi relate from al-Zuhri, from 
Ibn Jabir, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, that the Prophet (SAAS) said about those 
killed at Uhud, 'Each wound, each drop of blood will exude musk at Judgement 
Day.' And that he did not pray over them." 

It is well established that he did pray for them some years thereafter, shortly 
before his death. As al-Bukharl stated, "Muhammad b. c Abd al-Rahim related 
to us, quoting Zakariyya 5 b. c Adi, and Ibn al-Mubarak recounted to us, from 
Haywa, from Yazid b. Abu Habib, from Abu al-Khayr, from <Uqba b. <Amir, 
who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) delivered a prayer for those killed at 
Uhud eight years thereafter, just as though he were saying farewell to the living 
or the dead. He then mounted the minbar and said, "I shall stand before you, 
having preceded you, and will be a witness for you. Your appointment is at the 
al-hawd, 'the celestial pool', and I look at it now from this position of mine. I do 
not fear for you that you will (later) become polytheists. What I do fear for you 
is the influence of this world, that you will compete with one another over it.'"" 

<Uqba concluded, "And that was the last time I saw the Messenger of God 
(SAAS)." 

AI-Bukhari also related this elsewhere, as did Muslim, Abu Da'ud and 
al-Nasa'l, from a hadith of Yazid b. Abu H a bib in similar words. 

Al-Umawi stated, "My father related to me, quoting al-Hasan b. c Umara, 
from H^bib b. Abu Thabit, who said, ''A^isha said, 'We went forth from 
al-Sahar, the place through which the Messenger of God (SAAS) had left for 
Uhud, seeking news. When dawn arose, there was a man barring our way and 
reciting insistently: 

"Stay awhile. A load will bear witness to the battle." 

'"We then saw him to be Usayd b. Hudayr. We stayed where we were after 
that and then saw a camel approaching, being ridden by a woman seated between 
two loads. 

'"We approached her and found her to be the wife of < Amr b. al-Jamuh. We 
asked her for news and she replied, "God protected the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) while some of the Muslims have been martyred." "God turned back 
those who disbelieved, in all their anger, and they did not achieve advantage. 
God sufficed for the believers in the fighting, and God is mighty and powerful" 
(surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.25). 

'"She then told her camel to kneel, and she dismounted. We asked her about 
her loads, and she replied, "My brother and my husband."'" 



5 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Saftyya, daughter of c Abd al-Muttalib had come forward to 
see him (Hamza), who was her full brother. The Messenger of God (SAAS) told 
her son al-Zubayr b. al^Awwam, 'Go and meet her and take her back so that she 
does not see her brother's state.' Al-Zubayr told her, 'Mother, the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) orders you to go back.' She replied, 'Why? I have been told 
how my brother has been mutilated; that was in God's cause. And that fact has 
comforted us. I will keep myself under control and remain cairn, if God wills it.' 

"When al-Zubayr went back to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and reported 
this, he said, 'Let her through.' When she came, she looked at him (Hamza), 
said a prayer over him, asked forgiveness for him and spoke the words, 'To God 
we belong, and to Him do we return.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then gave orders that he be buried, and this 
was done. With him was buried his cousin c Abd Allah b. Jahsh, whose mother 
was Umayfna, daughter of c Abd al-Muttalib. He too had been mutilated, though 
his liver had not been cut out. May God be pleased with them both." 

Al-Suhayli stated, "He was later known as al-mujadia\ 'he who was mutilated 
in God's cause'. And Sa c d related that he and c Abd Allah b. Jahsh had said 
prayers, both of which had been answered. Sa c d had prayed that he meet a 
polytheist horseman whom he would kill and rob, and that came true. c Abd Allah 
b. Jahsh had prayed that a horseman would meet and kill him and cut off his 
nose in God's cause. And that came true." 

Al-Zubayr b. Bakkar related that his sword broke at Uhud, and that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) then gave him the bough of a palm tree, which when 
in the hand of <Abd Allah b. Jahsh turned into a sword with which he fought. It 
was later sold in the estate of one of his sons for 200 dinars. 

This is also what had happened earlier to 'Ukasha at the battle of Badr. 

It is also given in, as above, al-Bukhari's sahih collection that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) used to bury two or three men in one grave, and even in one 
shroud. 

He permitted this because of the wounds the Muslims had that would have 
made it hard for them to dig a grave for each individual. And he would position 
first in the grave whichever dead Muslim had had a greater knowledge of the 
Qur'an. 

He would join in the same grave two men who had been close friends, as he 
did c Abd Allah b. c Amr b. Haram, Jabir's father, along with ( Amr b. al-Jumuh. 
This was because they were friends. 

They were not washed, the wounds and blood being left untouched. 

Ibn Ishaq also related from al-Zuhri, from c Abd Allah b. Tha'laba b. Su'ayr, 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said as he was leaving the dead at Uhud, "I 
shall bear witness for these men; every man wounded in God's cause will be 
raised by God on Judgement Day, his wounds still bleeding. The colour shall be 
that of blood, the fragrance that of musk." 



TMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 59 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "My uncle, Musa b. Yasar, related to me that he heard 
Abu Hurayra say, 'Abu al-Qasim (i.e. the Prophet (SAAS)) said, "Every man 
wounded in God's cause will be raised by God on Judgement Day while his 
wounds are still bleeding. The colour shall be that of blood, the fragrance that 
of musk.""' 

This hadith is also firmly given in both sahih collections from other lines of 
transmission. 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Ali b. c Asim related to us, from c Ata 5 b. al-Sa'ib, from 
Sa<ld b. Jubayr, from Ibn c Abbas, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
said that those martyred at Uhud should have all articles they wore of iron or 
leather removed from them. He said, "Bury them in their blood and clothing." ' " 

Abu Da'ud and Ibn Majah related this from a hadith of c Ali b. c Asim. 

Imam Abu Da'ud stated, in his work al-Sunan, "Al-Qa%abl related to me that 
Sulayman b. al-Mughlra related to them, from Humayd b. Hilal, from Hisham 
b. c Amir, who said, 'The ansar went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Uhud 
and told him, "We are suffering from wounds and exhaustion; what are your 
orders?" He replied, "Dig and extend, placing two or three in the one grave." 

" 'He was asked, 'Which dead man will be placed in it first?" (The reply was) 
"The one with the greater knowledge of the Qur'an."'" 

He then related it from a hadith of al-Thawri, from Ayyub, from Humayd b. 
Hilal, from Hisham b. c Amir. His account adds a word, "Dig, deepen and extend." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Some Muslims had borne their dead to Medina and buried 
them there. But then the Messenger of God (SAAS) forbad that practice, 
saying, 'Bury them where they were struck down.'" 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Ali b. Ishaq related to us, quoting <Abd Allah and 
c Attab, who quoted c Abd Allah, who quoted HJmar b. Salama b. Abu Yazld 
al-Madlni, who quoted his father, as follows, 'I heard Jabir b. <Abd Allah say, 
"My father was martyred at Uhud. My sisters sent to me for him a transport 
camel they owned with the message, 'Load your father on this camel and bury 
him in the cemetery of Banu Salama.' 

"'"So I went for him, with some helpers, and news of this reached the 
Prophet (SAAS) while he was seated there at Uhud. He called for me and told 
me, 'By Him who bears my soul in His hands, he'll be buried only with his 
brothers!' 

"'"And he was buried with his comrades at Uhud,"'" 

Ahmad is alone in giving this hadith. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Muhammad b. Ja'far related to him, quoting Shu'ba, 
from al-Aswad b. Qays, from Nabih, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, that when those 
who were killed at Uhud were being carried away, the crier of the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) shouted out that the dead had to be returned to where they lay. 

Abu Da'ud and al-Nasa 5 I related this from a hadith of al-Thawri, while 
al-Tirmidhi gave it from one of Shu^a. Al-Nasa*! also gave it, as did Ibn Majah, 
from a hadith of Sufyan b. 'Uyayna. All of these were derived from al-Aswad b. 



60 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Qays, from Nabih al- c Azi, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, who said, "The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) went forth from Medina to battle the polytheists, and my father 
c Abd Allah told me, 'Jabir, there'll be no harm in you being among the lookouts 
of the people of Medina until you know how things fare with us. I swear, if it 
weren't for my having daughters who will survive me, I'd be happy for you to 
be killed right before me!'" 

Jabir continued, "While I was there among the lookouts, my aunt arrived with 
my father and my uncle whom she had balanced on a baggage camel. She bore 
them into Medina to bury them in our cemeteries when a man arrived and called 
out, 'The Prophet (SAAS) orders you to return with the dead and to bury them 
where they were killed.' So we did take them back and buried them where they 
had been killed. 

"During the Caliphate of Mu'awiyya b. Abu Sufyan, a man came to me and 
said, 'Jabir b. c Abd Allah, some of Mu'awiyya's workers have uncovered your 
father to sight, and part of him is outside the grave.' So I went and found him to 
be in a similar, unchanged state as when I buried him, except for what always 
happens to those killed." 

The Imam then went on to relate how Jabir paid off his father's debt, as is 
established in both sahih collections. 

Al-Bayhaqi related through Hammad b. Zayd, from Ayyub, from Abu 
al-Zubayr, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, who said, "When Mu'awiyya made the 
canal where the dead of Uhud were buried, it being by then 40 years later, we 
were asked to help. When we arrived there, we brought them out. A spade struck 
the foot of Hamza, and blood came forth." 

In Ibn Ishaq's account, Jabir stated, "We brought them out and it was as 
though they had been buried the previous day." 

Al-Waqidi related that when Mu^wiyya was about to dig the canal, he had a 
crier announce, "Anyone who had a relative killed at Uhud should be witness." 
Jabir said, "When we dug for them, I found my father in his grave lying as 
though asleep, unchanged. We also found that his companion in the grave, c Amr 
b. al-Jamuh, had his hand over a wound and when it was removed, the wound 
emitted blood!" 

And it is said that the grave of each one of them, may God be pleased with 
them, gave forth a scent like that of musk. This was 46 years following the day 
of their burial. 

AI-Bukhari stated that Musaddad related to him, quoting Bishr b. al-Mufaddal, 
quoting Husayn al-Mu'allim, from c Ata 5 , from Jabir, who said, "When Uhud 
arrived, my father called out to me in the night, 'I see myself as definitely being 
one of the first of the Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to be killed. 
And there will be nothing dearer to me I will leave on earth than yourself, apart 
from the soul of the Messenger of God (SAAS). I have a debt I want you to 
redeem; and I charge you to take good care of your sisters.' 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 1 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 61 

"When morning came, he was the first to die. I also buried another man in 
his grave with him. But later it disturbed me to have placed him along with 
another, so six months thereafter, I exhumed him. I found him to be in the 
same state as when I put him there, except for his ear." 

It is established in both sahth collections from a hadith of Shu'ba, from 
Muhammad b. al-Munkadir, from Jabir, that when his father was killed, Jabir 
began tearing at his clothing and weeping. People told him not to do this, but the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "Whether or not you weep for him, the angels 
went on shading him (with their wings) until you had lifted him up." 

In one account it is his aunt who is the person who cried. 

Al-Bayhaql stated, "Abu c Abd Allah al-Hafiz, and Abu Bakr Ahmad b. 
al-Hasan al-Qadi, both related to us as follows, 'Abu al- c Abbas Muhammad 
b. Ya'qub related to us, quoting Muhammad b. Ishaq, quoting Fayd b. Wathlq 
al-Basn, quoting Abu Ubada al-Ansarl, from al-Zuhri, from TJrwa, from c A>isha, 
who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) said to Jabir, 'Jabir, shall I tell you 
good news?' 'Yes indeed, do,' replied Jabir, 'may God give you much good 
news.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) then asked, 'Have you sensed that God 
gave life to your father and said, "O worshipper of Me, request anything of 
Me and I shall give it to you." ' He responded, 'O Lord, I have truly worshipped 
you well; I request of You that you return me to the world so that I may battle 
alongside Your prophet and be killed in Your cause once more.' He (God) 
answered, 'It has been previously decreed by Me that there shall be no returning 
there.'" 

Al-Bayhaqi stated, "Abu al-Hasan Muhammad b. Abu al-Ma'ruf al-Asfarayinl 
related to us, quoting Abu Sahl Bishr b. Ahmad, quoting Ahmad b. al-Husayn 
b. Nasr, quoting c Ali b. al-Madinl, quoting Musa b. Ibrahim b. Kathir b. Bashlr 
b. al-Fakih al-Ansarl, who said, 'I heard Talha b. Khirash b. c Abd al-Rahman 
b. Khirash b. al-Simma al~Ansari al-Sulaml say, "I heard Jabir b. c Abd Allah 
say, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) looked at me and said, "Why do I see you 
looking depressed?" I replied, "Messenger of God, my father has been killed and 
he has left a debt and children." He commented, "Didn't I tell you. God only 
ever spoke to anyone before from behind a screen, whereas He spoke to your 
father face to face! He told him, 'O worshipper of Me, ask of Me and I will give 
it you.' He replied, Task of you that you return me to the world so that I may be 
killed a second time.' God answered, 'I said previously, "They will not return 
there!'" He then asked, 'O Lord, then tell those I left behind.' And so God 
revealed, Do not consider those killed in God's cause to be dead, but alive. They 
will be well provided for by their Lord.'"""" (surat Al-^Imran; III, v. 169). 

Ibn Ishaq quoted from a colleague of his who related to him, quoting from 
<Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. "Uqayl, who stated, "I heard Jabir say, 'The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, "Shall I not give you good tidings, Jabir?" 
"Please do!" I replied. He then said, "God greeted your father right there at 
Uhud where he was struck down. He then asked him, 'What is your wish, c Abd 



62 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Allah? What do you wish me to do with you?' He replied, 'O Lord, to return me 
to the world so that I may fight again for You and be killed once more.""" 

Ahmad related this From c Ali b. al-Madlnl, from Sufyan b. ^yayna, from 
Muhammad b. c All b. Rabl'a al-Salaml, from Ibn c Uqayl, from Jabir. His account 
adds, "God replied, 'I have decreed that they shall not return to it.'" 

Ahmad stated that Ya^qub related to him, quoting his father, from Ibn Ishaq, 
who said, " c Asim b. ^mar b. Qatada related to me, from c Abd al-Rahman b. 
Jabir, from <Abd Allah, from Jabir b. <Abd Allah, who said, 'I heard the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) say, when he made a reference to those who fought at Uhud, "O 
God, how I would have liked to have been left there with them at the hidn, 'the 
foot of the mountain'" - meaning at the safh, "the foot of the mountain"."" 1 

Ahmad is alone in giving this tradition. 

Al-Bayhaql recounted, from a hadith of <Abd al-A^a b. <Abd Allah b. Abu 
Farwa, from Qutn b. Wahb, from t Ubayd b. t Umayr, from Abu Hurayra, that 
when the Messenger of God (SAAS) left Uhud, he passed on his way by Mus'ab 
b. c Umayr who had been killed. He stood over him, said a prayer for him, then 
recited, "There are some Muslim men who indeed spoke true in the pact they 
made with God" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v. 23). And he stated, "I testify that 
these men will be seen as martyrs by God at Judgement Day. So come and visit 
them. And I swear by Him who has my soul in His hand, all who greet them up 
to Judgement Day will have their greeting returned." 

This hadith is gharib, "unilateral". 

It is related as mursal, from <Ubayd b. c Umayr. 

Al-Bayhaqi related from a hadith of Musa b. Ya c qub, from c Abbad b. Abu Salih, 
from his father, from Abu Hurayra, who said, "The Prophet (SAAS) used to go 
to the graves of the martyrs. And when he came to the entry to the defile, he 
would say, 'Peace be upon you for what you bravely suffered and may the rewards 
of paradise be truly excellent!' Abu Bakr continued with this tradition after the 
Prophet (SAAS), as did <Umar after Abu Bakr and HJthman after ^mar." 

Al-Waqidl stated, "The Prophet (SAAS) would visit them every year. When 
he reached the hollow in the defile, he would say, 'Peace be upon you for what 
you bravely suffered and may the rewards of paradise be truly excellent.' Abu 
Bakr did the same every year thereafter, as later did ^Umar and then IJthman. 
Fathna would weep when she would go to them, and she would pray for them. 
And Say would greet them, then go over to his companions and ask, 'Won't you 
greet some men who will respond to you?'" 

Al-Waqidl then related their visit in another hadith from Abu Sa c ld, Abu 
Hurayra, c Abd Allah b. 'Umar and Umm Salama, may God be pleased with 
them all. 

II- Both words mean the same. It is unclear why the text explains the first word with a 
synonjm; perhaps al-hidn was a rare word in the writer's dialect. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 63 

Ibn Aba Dunya stated, "Ibrahim related to me, quoting al-Hakam b. Nafi c , 
quoting c Attaf b. Khalid, who said that his aunt related to me saying, 'I rode one 
day to the graves of the martyrs' - something she often did - 'and I stopped and 
prayed for a certain time near Hamza. There was no one there in the valley 
except for the youth standing holding the head of my mount. When I had 
finished, I made a farewell gesture indicating "Peace be upon you". Then I heard 
the greeting being returned to me, emanating from beneath the ground! I am 
as sure of this as I am that Almighty and Glorious God created me, and as I 
know night from day. Every hair on me stood on end!'" 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, from Isma ( ll b. Umayya, from Abu al-Zubayr, 
from Sa c ld b. Jubayr, from Ibn <Abbas, who said, "The Prophet (SAAS) told 
me, 'When your brothers were struck down at Uhud, God placed their spirits in 
the crops of green birds that would go down to the rivers of paradise and feed off 
the fruits there. Then they would retire to golden candelabra hung in the shade 
of the throne. Enjoying their food, drink and lodgings so well, they asked, "Who 
can tell our brothers about us, that we are alive in paradise and being well 
provided for, so that they will not shirk the battle, not be reluctant in warfare?" 

"'God, the Almighty and Glorious, replied, "I will inform them about you!" 
And so God sent down in the Book His statement, "Do not consider those 
killed in God's cause to be dead, but alive. They are being provided for by their 
Lord'"" {swat Al-<Imran; III, v. 169). 

Muslim and al-Bayhaqi related from a hadith of Abu Mtfawiya, from 
al-A c mash, from c Abd Allah b. Murra, from Masruq, who said, "We asked <Abd 
Allah b. Mas c ud about this verse, 'Do not consider those killed' and he replied, 
'Actually, we asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) about that and he said, 
"Their souls are in the crops of green birds that fly wherever they want, then 
retire to candelabra hanging near the throne. Once when they were there your 
Lord looked over at them and said, 'Ask whatever you want.' They replied, 
'What could we have to ask for, flying about anywhere in paradise as we do?' He 
repeated His question to them three times and when they realized that they 
would be asked again and again, they replied, 'We ask of You that You return 
our souls to our bodies on earth so that we may be killed in Your cause once 
more.' And when God saw that this was the only request they would make, they 
were left alone."'" 



Section: On the number of the martyrs at Uhud. 

Musa b. 'Uqba stated, "The total of the muhajirin and ansar martyred at Uhud 
was 49 men." 

It is established in the authentic tradition given by al-Bukhari from al-Bara 3 
that 70 Muslims were killed. But God knows best. 

Qatada stated, from Anas, that 70 ansar were killed at Uhud, 70 at the battle 
of BPr Ma'una and 70 at the battle of al-Yamama. 



64 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Hammad b. Salama stated, from Thabit, who said that Anas used to say, 
"Approximately 70 were killed at Uhud, Bi'r Ma c una, Mu'ta and al-Yamama." 

Malik stated, on the authority of Yahya b. Sa c id al-Ansarl, from Sa c id b. al- 
Musayyab, that at Uhud and al-Yamama 70 ansar were killed and 70 again at the 
battle of Abu c Ubayda bridge. 

'Ikrima, "Urwa, al-Zuhrl and Muhammad b. Ishaq all made similar statements 
about Uhud and further testimony was given by the Almighty's words, "And 
when an affliction struck you, you having already afflicted them twice the like, 
you said, 'Whence comes this?' " {silrat Al- c Imran; III, v. 164). This refers to their 
having killed 70 at Badr and captured 70 more. 

Ibn Ishaq reported that the ansar who were killed at Uhud - perhaps he 
meant Muslims — totalled 65; there were four muhajirun: Hamza, c Abd Allah 
b. Jahsh, Mus'ab b. c Umayr and Shammas b. ^Jthman, while the remainder 
were ansar. 

He listed their names by tribe. Ibn Hisham added 5 more names to these, thus 
totalling, in his view, 70 men. 

Ibn Ishaq also listed the names of those polytheists who were killed, and they 
totalled 22 men. 

According to c Urwa, there were 44 men martyred at Uhud, though he also 
gave this number as 47. 

Musa b. <Uqba stated that 49 Muslims were killed at that battle, along with 
16 polytheists. 

<Urwa gave this figure as 19, while Ibn Ishaq stated they numbered 22. 

Al~Rabi c stated, from al-Shafi c i, "The only polytheist captured then was 
Abu c Azza al-Jumahl. He had been among the prisoners taken at Badr, but the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had released him without ransom on condition that 
he not fight against him again. When Abu c Azza was captured at Uhud, he 
said, 'O Messenger of God, please release me for the sake of my daughters, and 
I promise you I won't fight you again.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 
'I'll not have you stroking your beard in Mecca and saying, "I've tricked 
Muhammad twice over!"' Then he gave orders and he was beheaded." 

Some say that it was on that occasion that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 
"A believer doesn't get bitten twice from the same lair!" 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then left for Medina where, 
so I have been told, he was met by Hamna, daughter of Jahsh. When she was 
told of the loss of her brother, { Abd Allah b. Jahsh, she prayed for forgiveness for 
him and stated the creed, 'To God we belong and to Him we return.' Then she 
was told of the death of her uncle Hamza b. c Abd al~Muttalib, and she spoke 
similar prayers for him. Then she was informed of the death of her husband, 
Musfab b. ^mayr, and at this she screamed and wailed. The Messenger of God 



IMAM ABD AL FIDA> ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 65 

(SAAS) having seen how stoically she had received the news of the deaths of 
her brother and her uncle and how she lamented for her husband, commented, 
'A woman's husband has a very special place with her.'" 

Ibn Majah stated that Muhammad b. Yahya related to him, quoting Ishaq 
b. Muhammad al-Farwa, quoting Muhammad b. 'Umar, from Ibrahim b. 
Muhammad b. c Abd Allah b. Jahsh, from his father, from Hamna, daughter of 
Jahsh, who said that when she was told of the death of her brother, she said, 
"May God have mercy on him! To God do we belong, and to Him do we 
return." When she was then told that her husband had been killed, she burst 
out, "O woe!" The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, "A husband alone has 
control over part of his wife's feelings." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, " c Abd al-Wahid b. Abu c Awn related to me, from Isma'll, 
from Muhammad, from Sa<d b. Abu Waqqas, who said, 'The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) went past a woman of Banu Dinar whose husband, brother and father 
had been struck down while with the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Uhud. When 
their deaths were reported to her, she asked, "And how is it with the Messenger 
of God (SAAS)?" They replied, "He is fine. He's just as you might wish." She 
then asked, "Show him to me; I want to see him." When he was pointed out to 
her, she commented, "Every loss after you had gone would b&jalal, trivial.'"" 

Ibn Hisham noted, "Al-jalal is a word that can apply to minor or to major 
matters. Here it means 'minor'. Imru 5 al-Qays spoke the verse, 

'Banu Asad's killing of their chief makes anything thereafter jalaV 

"Here the word jatal means trivial or few." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived home to 
his family, he handed his sword to his daughter Fatima and said, 'Wash the 
blood off this, my child. I swear by God, it was true to me today!' 

" c All b. Abu Talib then handed her his sword repeating, 'Wash the blood off 
it; I swear by God it was true to me today!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then commented, 'And if you stood true in 
the fighting, so too along with you did Sahl b. Hunayf and Abu Dujana!'" 

Musa b. <Uqba stated elsewhere, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw 
c All's sword tinged with blood, he said, 'If you fought well, then so did c Asim b. 
Thabit b. Abu al~Aqlah, al-Harith b. al-Simma and Sahl b. Hanif.'" 

Al-Bayhaqi recounted from Sufyan b. c Uyayna, from c Amr b. Dinar, from 
qkrima, from Ibn c Abbas, who said that c All b. Abu Talib at the battle of Uhud 
brought along his sword that had bent and told Fatima, "Be thankful when you 
take this sword, for it satisfied my thirst for revenge!" 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS), said, "If you did well in striking with 
your sword, so did Sahl b. Hanif, Abu Dujana, c Asim b. Thabit and al-Harith 
b. al-Simma." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "This sword of the Messenger of God (SAAS) was Dhu 
al-Fiqar. And a scholar told me, quoting Ibn Abu Najih, 'A crier called out at the 



66 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

battle of Uhud, "There is no sword to match Dhu aI-Fiqar." ,u And a scholar told v 
me that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said to ( All, 'The polytheists will not 
cause us similar losses again before God gives us victory over them."' 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) passed by the home of 
Banu c Abd al-Ashhal and he heard weeping and wailing over their dead. The 
eyes of the Messenger of God (SAAS) welled with tears and he then said, 'But 
Hamza has no women weeping for him!' 

"When Sa c d b. Mu'adh and Usayd b. al-Hudayr returned to the home of Banu 
c Abd al-Ashhal, they ordered their women to dress for outdoors and to go and 
weep for the uncle of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"Hakim b. Hakim b. c Abbad b. Hanif related to me, from a man of Banu 
c Abd al-Ashhal, who said, 'When the Messenger of God (SAAS) heard their 
weeping over Hamza, he went out to them; they were at the door to the mosque, 
weeping. He told them, "Go home, God bless you all; you have been very 
kind."' 

"And the Messenger of God (SAAS) forbad public lamentation that day, 
according to Ibn Hisham. But this hadith he gives is munqati\ 'discontinuous' 
and mursal, 'incompletely transmitted'." 

Imam Ahmad gave the tradition a complete line of transmission, stating, 
"Zayd b. al-Hubab related to us, quoting Usama b. Zayd, and Nafi*, from Ibn 
'Umar, that when the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned from Uhud and the 
ansar women began weeping over those of their husbands who had been killed, 
he said, 'But Hamza has no women weeping for him!' 

"He then went to sleep and when he awoke, the women were weeping. He 
said, 'Today they are weeping and lamenting the loss of Hamza.'" 

This tradition meets the criteria of Muslim. 

Ibn Majah recounted it, from Harun b. Sa'ld, from Ibn Wahb, from Usama b. 
Zayd al-Laythi, from Nafi c , from Ibn 'UmaT, to the effect that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) passed by some women of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal who were weeping 
over their dead at Uhud. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "But Hamza has 
no women weeping over him." 

So then some ansar wives did go and weep for Hamza. When the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) awoke, he said, "Confound them! They'll not be upset when 
they leave! Let them return, and not wail for the dead from this day on!" 

Musa b. <Uqba stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) went off into 
the alleys of Medina, there was much lamentation in progress in the houses. He 
asked, 'What's all this?' He was told, 'These are ansar women lamenting their 
dead.' He said, 'But there are no women lamenting for Hamza.' He then prayed 
for forgiveness for Hamza. 

"Sa ( d b. Mu<adh, Sa'd b. <Ubada, Mu'adh b. Jabal and <Abd Allah b. Rawaha 
heard this and walked to their homes, where they set about assembling all the 

12. The editor of the Arabic printed text observes in a footnote, "Ibn Hisham stated: 'There is 
no sword to match Dhu al-Fiqfir, and no warrior to match c AhT" 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 67 

weeping and lamenting women there in Medina. The men told them, 'By God, 
don't weep for those slain from among the ansar until you have mourned for 
the uncle of the Messenger of God (SAAS). He has mentioned how there are 
no women lamenting him in Medina.' 

"They claim that the man who summoned the mourning women was c Abd 
Allah b. Rawaha. And when the Messenger of God (SAAS) heard them, he 
asked, 'What's all this?' He was told what the ansar had told their wives; he then 
prayed for them warmly and asked for them God's forgiveness, saying, 'But I 
didn't want this; I don't like wailing!' And he forbad it." 

Ibn Lahi'a recounts it similarly, from Abu al-Aswad, from 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr. 

Musa b. 'Uqba stated, "The hypocrites took advantage of the mourning of 
the Muslims to further sadden them and divide them from the Messenger 
of God (SAAS). The deceit of the Jews was evident and all Medina boiled with 
hypocrisy." 

The Jews said, "If he were indeed a prophet, they would not have defeated 
him, and he would not have suffered such losses at their hand. But he's just 
ambitious to establish a domain under his own absolute control." 

The hypocrites said similar things, telling the Muslims, "If you had provided 
properly for us, those who made you suffer would not have done so." 

And so God sent down the Qur'an concerning the obedience of those who 
were obedient and the hypocrisy of those who were that, and in consolation for 
the Muslims, for those of them who were killed, that is. God stated, "And 
(remember) when you went forth from your family to establish the believers in 
camps for battle - and God is All-Hearing and All-Knowing" {surat Al- t Imran; 
III, v. 120). We have discussed this subject in our Tafsir (Exegesis); and to God 
belongs all praise and credit. 



An Account of the departure of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his 

Companions, despite their bruises and their mounds, to intimidate and 

pursue Abu Sujyan and his men as far as Hamra ) al-Asad, 

a place some eight miles from Medina. 

Musa b. 'Uqba stated, following his account of the battle of Uhud and of the 
return of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Medina, "A man from Mecca came 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and the latter asked him about Abu Sufyan 
and his men. The man replied, 'I stayed with them and heard them arguing, 
some saying, "You have accomplished nothing. You damaged their leadership 
and their elite, but then you left them without finishing them off. They still have 
leaders left who will gather men against you." 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) gave orders for his men - despite their 
grievous wounds to move out in pursuit after the enemy in such a way that 
they would hear of this. He announced, 'Only those who were present at the 



68 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

battle may go.' c Abd Allah b. Ubayy asked, 'May I ride with you?' 'No,' he told 
him. 

"And the Muslims did respond to God and to His messenger, despite their 
suffering, and set off. 

"God stated in His Book, 'Regarding those who responded to God and to 
His messenger after all the injuries they had suffered, those of them who do 
good, and who are pious shall have a great reward' (sural Al- c Imran; III, v. 171). 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) did give permission to Jabir (b. c Abd Allah) 
to go forth when he related how his father had ordered him to stay in Medina 
to care for his sisters. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then pursued the enemy as far as Hamra 5 
al-Asad." 

Ibn Lahl^ related this similarly, from Abu al-Aswad, from ^rwa b. al-Zubayr. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq related in his military chronicle, as follows, "The battle of 
Uhud took place on Saturday in the middle of Shawwal. On the morning of 
Sunday, the 16th of Shawwal, the crier of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
announced to the people that they should leave in pursuit of the enemy. His 
crier also announced that only those who had been present at the previous day's 
battle should go forth. Jabir b. *Abd Allah spoke with him and he permitted him 
to join the force. 

"The purpose of the Messenger of God (SAAS) in pursuing was to frighten 
the enemy. This was by making them aware that they were still powerful 
and that their losses had not so weakened them that they could no longer face 
their enemy. 

" c Abd Allah b. Kharija b. Zayd b. Thabit related to me, from Abu al-Sa°ib, the 
freed-man of ^'isha, daughter of 'Uthman, that a man of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal 
said, 'I was present at Uhud, along with a brother of mine. We came home 
wounded and when the crier of the Messenger of God (SAAS) announced 
the pursuit of the enemy, I and my brother agreed that we should not lose the 
opportunity of participating in another expedition with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) even though we did not (each) have a mount to ride and were badly 
wounded. So we left with the Messenger of God (SAAS). I was less badly 
wounded than my brother; when he became exhausted, I would let him ride for 
a while and then he would again walk for a while. Eventually we caught up with 
the other Muslims.'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went on as far as 
Hamra' al-Asad, a place some eight miles from Medina. There he remained the 
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then he returned to Medina." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He left Ibn Umm Maktum in command of Medina." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " c Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that Ma<bad b. Abu 
Ma^bad al-Khuza c I passed by them. The Khuza^a tribe, both those of them who 
were Muslims and those who were unbelievers, were secretly the allies of the 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 69 

Messenger of God (SAAS) in Tihama and their understanding with him was 
that they would not conceal from him anything that happened there. Ma%ad 
at that time was a polytheist and he told the Messenger of God (SAAS) on his 
way past Hamra > al-Asad, 'Muhammad, we're deeply sorry at what happened to 
your men, and we would hope for God to protect you and them.' 

"He then left, while the Messenger of God (SAAS) was still there at Hamra 3 
al-Asad, and met up with Abu Sufyan b. Harb and his men at al-Rawha\ They 
had decided to return to fight the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men. They 
had concluded, 'We have severely damaged the best of his Companions and 
their chieftains and nobles, so should we now go home before we uproot them 
completely? We should go back for the rest of them and be finished with them.' 

"When Abu Sufyan saw Ma'bad, he asked him, 'How are things back up 
behind you, Ma'bad?' He replied, 'Muhammad has come out with his men 
seeking you in a force the like of which I never saw before. They are truly 
enraged towards you. He has been joined by those who stayed behind when 
you did battle with him, and these men much regret what they did. The anger 
they have towards you is something the like of which I've never seen before.' 

"'What are you suggesting, confound you?' Abu Sufyan demanded. He 
replied, 'I swear, I don't think you'll be able to leave before you catch sight of 
the forelocks of their cavalry.' 

"'But we've decided to attack them to destroy the rest of them!' 

"Ma'bad commented, 'I really do advise you against that. I swear, I was so 
affected by what I saw that I composed some verse on the subject.' 

"'What did you compose?' Abu Sufyan asked. 

"Ma^ad then recited, 

'At the noise, my mount almost shied, the earth streaming with masses of fine 
horses. 

Racing on, their riders like noble lions, men not effeminate in the fray and not 
poorly armed. 

I ran on, thinking the earth itself moving, as they brought up a leader never to be 
forsaken. 

And I said, "Woe to Ibn Harb when you meet and the plain shakes beneath the 
lines of men!" 

I warn the people of Mecca very plainly, addressing every wise and sane man they 
have, 

Of the army of Ahmad, not some mixed rabble, and my warning should not be 
described as mere hearsay,' 

"Abu Sufyan and his party were dissuaded from action by this. 

"A party of men from c Abd Qays passed by, and he asked them where they 
were headed. When they told him to Medina, he asked why, and they replied 
that they were going there for supplies. Abu Sufyan asked them, 'Would you 
deliver a message I will give you for Muhammad? If you will, I'll load up these 
camels of yours with raisins at Ukaz tomorrow.' They agreed and he then told 



70 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

them, 'When you reach him, tell him that we have decided to come on after him 
and his Companions to wipe out the rest of them!' 

"The men passed by the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Hamra 5 al-Asad and 
told him what Abu Sufyan had said. To this he commented, 'God suffices for 
us; a fine protector is He!'" 

Al-Hasan al-Basri gave the same tradition. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Ahmad b. Yunus related to us, saying, 'Abu Bakr related 
to us, from Abu Husayn, from Abu al-Duha, from Ibn c Abbas, that this phrase 
hasbuna Allah wa ni < ma al-jpakil, "God suffices for us; a fine protector is He" 
was spoken by Abraham when he was cast into the fire. Muhammad (SAAS) 
spoke it when they told him, "The people have assembled for you; make them 
afraid." And he did inspire greater faith in them and they said, "God suffices 
for us; a fine protector is He." ' " 

Al-Bukhari is alone in giving this account. 

He also stated, "Muhammad b. Salam related to us, quoting Abu Mu'awiya, 
from Hisham, from his father, from { A 5 isha, God bless her, who said to 'Umra 
about the verse, 'Regarding those who responded to God and to His messenger 
after all the injuries they had suffered, those of them who do good and who 
are pious shall have a great reward' (surat Al-'-lmran; III, v. 171): 'Nephew, your 
fathers were among these, al-Zubayr and Abu Bakr, God be pleased with 
them. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) suffered his losses at Uhud and the 
polytheists withdrew, he was concerned that they might return. And so he 
asked, "Who will pursue them?" Seventy of his men volunteered, including Abu 
Bakr and al-Zubayr.'" 

This is the account given by al-Bukhari. Muslim gave it in an abbreviated 
form through Hisham. Sa'ld b. Mansur and Abu Bakr al-Humaydl jointly 
related this from Sufyan b. <Uyayna. Ibn Majah also verified it through him, 
from Hisham b. ^rwa. Al-Hakim related it in his compendium through Abu 
Sa c id from Hisham b. <Urwa; he related it from a hadtth of al-Suddi, from (Urwa. 
He said that both scholars considered the tradition sahih, authentic, but that 
these scholars had not narrated it. 

This is what he stated. But the context of this is very strange. For it is well 
known by the scholars who have written on the military expeditions that all 
those who advanced with the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Hamra' al-Asad were 
those who had been present at Uhud and that these totalled 700, as is told above, 
of whom 70 were killed, the remainder surviving. 

Ibn Jarir related, through al- c Awfl, from Ibn c Abbas, who said, "God cast 
terror into the heart of Abu Sufyan after what had happened at Uhud and he 
returned to Mecca. The battle of Uhud took place in Shawwal. The merchants 
would come to Medina in Dhu al-Qa^a, staying once every year at Badr 
al-Sughra. They arrived again after the battle of Uhud. The Muslim warriors 
had suffered severe injuries and were complaining of these to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS). However, he told his men to go forth and continue what they 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 7 1 

had been doing. He told us, 'If you leave now, the month for the hajj will soon 
be upon us and they will not be able to do the same again until next year." 3 

"Then the devil came to scare his deputies, saying, 'The enemy is all gathered 
against you.' His men refused to follow him and so he said, 'I am going forth, 
even if no one follows me.' 

"Abu Bakr, <Umar, <Uthman, 'All, Talha, al-Zubayr, Sa<d, c Abd al-Rahrnan 
b. c Awf, Abu e Ubayda, Ibn Mas c ud and Hudhayfa left with him, accompanied 
by 70 men. They went in pursuit of Abu Sufyan as far as al-Safra\ And God 
revealed the verse, 'Regarding those who responded to God and to His messenger 
after all the injuries they had suffered, those of them who do good and who are 
pious shall have a great reward 1 " (surat Al- l Imran; HI, v.171). 

This account is also very strange. 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Abu ^bayda related to us that when Abu Sufyan b. 
Harb withdrew after the battle of Uhud, he wanted to return to Medina. But 
Safwan b. Umayya advised him, 'No, don't do that. The enemy is thoroughly 
enraged and we fear they might engage in battle differently from before. Return 
home.' And so they did. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) who was at Hamra 5 al-Asad when he 
received news that they were about to go home, then said, 'By Him who holds 
my soul in His hand, rocks have been assigned them; if they had been greeted 
with them, they would have been history!' 

"While out there and before his return to Medina, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) captured Mu'awiya b. al-Mughira b. Abu al- c As b. Umayya b. c Abd 
Shams, <Abd al-Malik b. Marwan's grandfather on his mother's side, she 
being 'A'isha, daughter of Mu'awiya, along with Abu *Azza al-Jurnahl. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had captured this Mtfawiya at Badr and then 
released him. Mu'awiya asked him, 'O Messenger of God, forgive me!' But he 
replied, 'No, by God, you'll not stroke your beard in Mecca and say, "I've twice 
deceived Muhammad!" Strike off his head, Zubayr!' And his head was severed." 

Ibn Hisham also stated, "Ibn al-Musayyab was quoted to me as having 
said that the Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, 'A believer doesn't get bitten 
twice from the same lair; strike off his head, c Asim b. Thabit!' And his head was 
severed." 

Ibn Hisham went on, "Mu'awiya b. al-Mughira b. Abu al- c As was given 
sanctuary by c Uthman provided that he remain only three days. Thereafter the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) sent Zayd b. Harirha and 'Ammar b. Yasir to capture 
him, telling them, 'You'll find him in such and such a place; kill him!' And they 
did so, may God be pleased with them both." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "It was related to me by al-Zuhri that <Abd Allah b. Ubayy had 
a particular spot (in the mosque) he would occupy each Friday; this position 

13. The sanctity of the hajj season would deprive the Meccans of the opportunity of attacking 
the Muslims. 



72 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

would not be disputed by anyone else, out of respect for him and his people, he 
being a chieftain. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) took his seat to address 
the people on Friday, <Abd Allah would arise and say, 'People, this is the 
Messenger of God before you. God has 1 given you honour and glory through 
him. Give him aid and support and listen and obey.' He would then sit down, 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men had returned to Medina, 
following the events at Uhud, c Abd Allah got up as usual but the Muslims 
grasped his clothing from all sides, saying, 'Sit down, you enemy of God! You're 
no longer worthy of that, having acted as you did!' 

"He therefore left, stepping over the necks of the men there, saying, 'By God, 
it's as if I were committing some sin by arising to express my support for him!' 

"At the door of the mosque he was met by some of the ansar, who asked 
him, 'What's wrong with you?' He replied, 'I arose to express my support for 
him, but some of his Companions jumped on me and roughed me up. It's as if I 
were committing some sin by arising to express my support for him!' 'Go back 
inside', they told him, 'and the Messenger of God (SAAS) will ask them to 
forgive you.' 'By God,' he replied, 'I don't want him to ask forgiveness for me!'" 

Ibn Ishaq then referred to what was revealed in the Qur'an concerning the 
battle of Uhud, in surat Al-^Imran, beginning with the verse, "And (remember) 
when you went forth in the morning from your family to place the believers in 
positions for the fighting. And God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing." 

He made reference to 60 verses and discussed these. 

We have ourselves written at sufficient length on this in our wOrk of exegesis. 

He then proceeded to mention the martyrs of Uhud, enumerating them and 
their names and those of their fathers, according to their tribes, as was his custom. 

He referred to 4 of the muhajirin - Hamza, Mus^ab b. 'Umayr, <Abd Allah b. 
Jahsh, Shammas b. 'Uthman, God be pleased with them all. He named 65 ansar 
who were killed. Ibn Hisham added S other names to these; thus in his view the 
ansar killed totalled 70 men. 

Ibn Ishaq then named those of the polytheists who were killed; these totalled 
22 men whom he arranged by their tribes. 

I observe that none of the polytheists were captured except for Abu c Azza 
al-Jumahi, as al-Shafi'i and others report. The Messenger of God (SAAS) had 
him killed right before him; he ordered al-Zubayr to execute him. It is also said 
that this was done by c Asim b. Thabit b. Abu al-Aflah. The man's head was cut off. 



Chapter: The verses exchanged between the believers and the unbelievers concerning 
the battle of Uhud. 

We record here the poems of the unbelievers merely in order to give the responses 
to them made in the Islamic poetry, emphasizing the aesthetic and intellectual 
impact of the latter and exposing the idiocy of the former, that rabble! 



IMAM ABU AL~FIDA> ISMA 1L IBN KATHI R 73 

Imam Muhammad b. Ishaq, may God be pleased with him, stated, "Among 
the poems spoken at Uhud was the following by Hubayra b. Abu Wahb 
al-Makhzumi, a follower of the religion of his people, the Quraysh, 

'Why do I suffer this painful love-sickness that afflicts me for Hind when warriors 
are on the move? 

Hind now blames and reproaches me at a time when warfare diverts me from her, 

Easy now, do not reproach me; my character is thus, as you have learned, and I 
have never concealed. 

I give aid to Banu Ka<b as they require; I bear weights and burdens I suffer from. 

I bore my sword upon a tall, long-paced steed, smooth its gait, keeping up with the 
rest when it runs, 

As it races it is like an onager in the wild which, though pursued, stays by the 
female asses, protecting. 

From the line of A c waj he is, and the crowd loves him; he is like the healthy, full 
branch of a very tall tree. 

I readied him along with a fine, select blade and a spear for whatever dangers I 
might meet. 

And also chain-mail, rippling like running water, finely wrought and closely fitting, 
no faults apparent. 

We led Kinana forth from the ends of Yemen across the lands, herding them along. 

Kinana asked, "Where are you taking us?" We replied, "To al-NukhayL"" And so 
they headed for it, and for those there. 

We were the knights of the batde on the slope of Uhud; Ma<add were afraid, so we 
said we would go to them. 

They feared the blows and thrusts, accurate and damaging, that they had seen 
when their advance forces were engaged. 

Then we arrived like a hailstorm, and up went the bird-spirit of Banu al-Najjar, 
mourning them, 

And their heads in the batde were like ostrich eggs, shattered and scattered. 

Or a colocynth plant, its stem dried out, being buffeted by fierce winds. 

We expend our funds generously and without accounting and thrust at the knights, 
in their eyes, from all sides. 

Many is the night a man warms himself at a carcass he has slaughtered, but 
reserved for the wealthy he invited. 

And many the frosty and rainless, freezing night of Jumada I've travelled through, 

So bitter cold that dogs would bark only once, and snakes not move. 

On such nights I've lit for the needy a big fire, bright as lightning, illuminating all 
around. 

( Amr and his father before him bequeathed me this practice, one he would often 
repeat. 

Such men rivalled the stars in brightness, their achievements no less than the 
greatest of deeds.'" 



14. A well near Medina. 



74 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hassan b. Thabit, God be pleased with him, responded with 
the following verses." 

However, Ibn Hisham said that these were also attributed to Ka'b b. Malik 
and others. In my view the attribution Ibn Ishaq makes to Hassan is more 
widely and frequently accepted. But God knows best. 

"It was your foolishness that made you blindly lead Kinana against the Messenger, 
for God's forces would humble them. 

You brought them down to pools of death that morning, for being killed and 
hell-fire await them. 

You gathered up Abyssinian slaves, devoid of ancestry, you chiefs of disbelief, 
deceived by your tyrants. 

Did you not remember God's horsemen when they killed those at the well, and 
those they threw therein? 

How many were the captives we freed without cost and how many a forelock we 
cropped of those we mastered!" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Ka'b b. Malik also spoke the following verses in response to 
Hubayra b. Abu Wahb al-Makhzuml, 

'Has, then, Ghassan heard about us, even though between us and them there is 
desert land difficult to traverse? 

Wastelands and mountains, their dark forms from the distance looking like barren 
dust columns, widely scattered, 

Where young, hardy camels weaken and the annual heavy rain clouds pass over 
when they come, 

Where the bones of the carcasses of exhausted beasts appear stretched out like the 
linens of traders. 

There the wild cows and the antelopes walk in file and ostrich eggs have their shells 
scattered far. 

Our fighters defending our faith are all fine warriors, the crests of their helmets 
glinting. 

Every chain-mail in storage when put on seems like a full-running stream. 

But at Badr ask any man you meet and any news of people far away may be useful. 

There we were in the land of fear and had others than us been there, they would 
have left by night, in flight. 

When one of our out-riders came he would say, "Prepare for what Ibn Harb is 
gathering and preparing." 

No matter how others would react at what affects us, we would have remained 
more calm than them. 

If others than us had faced such a host, they would have given up and dispersed. 

We battled them and no tribe could have withstood us without becoming terrified 
and taking flight. 

When they went to live at al-1rd, ls our chief said, "If we do not protect al-'-Ird, the 
seed, why sow it? 

15. A place on the outskirts of Medina. The use of the word Hrd again in the same verse, 
meaning "seed", is, of course, a deliberate pun. 



IMAM ABD AL-FID A' ISMA qL IBN KATHI R 75 

We have a messenger among us whose instruction we obey; when he orders us we 
do not delay. 

The spirit comes down upon him from his Lord, made to descend from the heavens 
and then to arise again. 

We seek his advice on what we want, and our goal is to listen and obey all his 
wishes." 

The messenger said, when they came in our sight, "Give up fear of death and seek 
it instead; 

Be like those who sell their lives by coming close to a King who gives life and 
restores it. 

Take up your swords and put your trust in God; all power rests with God." 

We headed straight for them on their mounts, our swords held above us and not 
afraid, 

Our squadron bearing swords and lances, the feet of our mounts not wavering once 
planted. 

We plunged on as into the waves of the sea, amidst which were their Abyssinians, 
some bearing armour, others not. 

They were 3,000 strong, we some 300 or at most 400 choice warriors 

When we plunged into them death flowed all around us; we raced towards death's 
pool and we came first. 

Lote-wood bows shot to and fro between us, all with fine strings from Yathrib, 

The arrows all made from the holy city of Sa'id, and treated with poison when 
crafted 

That pierced men's bodies and sometimes glanced off their armour, making a 
noise. 

The cavalry on the plain were numerous as locusts on a cool night, brought by an 
east wind. 

Then we clashed and fighting was fierce betweeen us; and there is no denying 
God's command. 

We struck at them until we left their leaders in the hollow lying like felled trees. 

That morning and on till refreshed by evening, our energy was like the heat of a 
fire, consuming all. 

They retreated in suffering, as though they were cloud remnants that had shed 
their water, blown away by the wind. 

We advanced, our rearguard following slowly; we were like lions striking out at 
their game at Bisha. 

We caused casualties, as did the enemy to us; it was we who acted, but God's role 
was greater. 

We fought hard and they fought too, all getting their fill of evil. 

We are a people who do not consider that to kill is blameworthy for those who 
protect and defend their charges. 

Stoic in adversity, we never find ourselves to weep over someone killed. 

We are warriors who never retract what we said, and we never despair at whatever 
warfare brings. 

We are warriors who, if victorious, never commit atrocities, and we never complain 
at our injuries. 



76 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

We are like a flame from whose heat others seek protection while those near it and 
exposed are scorched. 

You claim superiority over me, Ibn al-Ziba'ra, yet a party went forth in pursuit of 
you late at night. 

And so on the heights of Ma { add and elsewhere ask yourself about which of all men 
is the least esteemed, 

And who it was the warfare left with nothing to boast of, and whose face was most 
shamed in the battle. 

We attacked you fiercely, with God's help and support, the heads of our spears well 
directed. 

Our lances caused wounds among you like the orifices of waterskins, gushing water. 

We headed for the standard-bearers and those who speed to defend the banner are 
those swiftest in receiving praise. 

Yet your men were traitors and gave up in desertion; and God refutes any order but 
it is He who is most effective.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " c Abd Allah b. al-Ziba'ra spoke the following verses about 
the battle of Uhud, he still being a polytheist at that time, 

'O rook of ill-omen, since you foretell, then speak; you only announce what is 
already done. 

Both good and evil have their course and both of these have witnesses to them. 

For them gifts are valueless and the graves of rich and poor are all alike. 

All life, all pleasure, fades and fate's handmaidens toy with us all. 

Convey to Hassan a message from me, for composing poetry alleviates those in 
pain. 

How many were the skulls you saw at the mountain's foot, how many the severed 
feet and arms. 

How plentiful the fine armour removed from warriors slaughtered in the fray. 

How many the noble lord we killed, men of fine lineage, on both sides, leaders and 
heroes, 

Men truly brave, lords of distinction, not cowards when the sharp points struck. 

Ask al-Mihras, the well at Uhud, what skulls and brains inhabit it, like partridges. 

How I wish that my elders at Badr had witnessed the terror of the al-Khazraj when 
the points struck home, 

When warfare scratched its chest at Quba and killing boiled among the c Abd 
al-Ashhal. 

They sped away rapidly then, like young ostriches climbing up the mountain. 

Of their nobles we killed twice as many, and we reversed the trend at Badr, and it 
was equalized. 

I am not blaming ourselves, except that if we had done it again we would have 
harmed them badly 

With our Indian swords rising above their heads, drinking deep again and again.'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Hassan b. Thabit, God be pleased with him, responded 
as follows, 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 77 

c Ibn al-Ziba c ra got carried away by a battle in which we had the advantage; if only 
he had been fair! 

We damaged you and you us; warfare sometimes goes in cycles like that. 

We put our swords to your shoulders and there we drank your blood time and 
again. 

We made your backsides flow, as happens to old camels eating c asaP 6 for medicine! 

You took to your heels in flight in the defile, following along like sheep. 

Then we attacked you fiercely, forcing you down to the foot of the mountain; 

Our groups of warriors were like ashdaq" in the desert wastes, terrifying whomever 
came across them. 

The defile pressed in upon us and we crossed through it and filled its heights and 
low places alike, 

With men whose equal you are not and who were aided by Gabriel who came down. 

It was our piety that won the day at Badr, our obedience to God and our belief in 
the prophets. 

We killed every one of their chieftains and all their nobles in flowing robes. 

At the battle of Badr we left shame upon Quraysh and exemplary tales to be told. 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) in truth was witness to the battle of Badr, while 
the short, corpulent men 

Of Quraysh assembled there were like unattended camels gathering in a pasture. 

It is we, not people like you born to your mothers' arses, who face up to the fray 
when warfare comes!'" 



Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ka'b recited the following verses honouring Hamza and those 
Muslims, may God be pleased with them all, killed with him at Uhud, 

'You wept. And was it another who made you do so, when it was you who cried 
when remembering? 

Your memory was of a people about whom stories have reached me in this 
tortuous time. 

To think of them your heart throbs in longing and tear-filled sadness. 

But those they killed are in pleasant gardens, honoured therein both when they 
enter or leave 

For what they endured beneath the flag, the flag of the prophet at Dhu al-Adwuj ls 

That day when all of Aws and Khazraj gave answer with their swords. 

Along with Ahmad's men following the truth, its path so well illuminated. 

They kept on striking the warriors as they traversed through the swirling dust. 

So it was until the King summoned them to a garden whose entrance was shielded 
by much foliage. 

All of them died heroically, in God's faith, and received no punishment, 

Like Hamza when he held true, wielding a sharp sword, cutting deep. 

16. A word with various connotations, i.e. honey, date juice, flowers, gum from trees etc. 

17. The word shidq, pi. askdaq means according to the dictionaries, the sides or ends of valleys. 
It also has a connotation of the sides of the mouth and of being large-mouthed, or talkative and 
eloquent. Its precise meaning here is unclear. 

18. A site near Uhud. 



78 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

The slave of Banu Nawfal confronted him, snorting like a black camel, 
Ajid ran him through with a spear, fast as a flame blazing up in a fire, 
Nubian fulfilled his promise, and Hanzalla, the good, did not turn away 
From the truth until his spirit passed on to a place splendid with jewels. 
Those were men, not those of yours lying in the furthest depths of hell.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses in mourning for 
Hamza and the Muslims struck down at the battle of Uhud. It is in the same 
rhyme as the poem of Umayya b. Abu al-Salt eulogizing the polytheists killed 
at the battle of Badr." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "There are some scholars expert in the poetry who deny 
that this poem should be attributed to Hassan. But God knows best." 

(Hassan b. Thabit recited), 

"0 Mayy, arise and lament loudly as the mourning women do, 

Like hags bearing heavy burdens, complaining, overladen, 

Wailing, and scratching at the faces of other women, 

Their flowing tears reminding one of pillars stained with the blood of sacrifice, 

Tearing at their hair and letting its ends appear, 

Looking like the tails of restive horses being tossed in the morning, 

Looking like scraps of meat cut up and left to be blown dry in the wind. 

They cry in sadness, mourning women overwhelmed by tragedy, 

Their hearts wounded, emitting pus from beneath scabs, 

Now that fate has struck down those we relied upon when we feared 

The warriors at Uhud injured, and destroyed by fate, 

Our knights and protectors when warriors are sent forth. 

O Hamza, I will not, I swear, ever forget you as long as time goes on. 

You were the refuge of orphans, strangers and modest-eyed widows, 

Protecting against that fate that brings successive, searing wars. 

knight and champion, O Hamza, you were our gallant defender 
Protecting us from terrible, calamitous blows of hate. 

1 thought of you as the lion of the Prophet, who is himself our champion, our 
protector, 

He who has always been considered when our noble and generous lords are counted. 
Towering above all nobles in fame, a man of generosity and pre-eminence, 
Not an irresponsible or fearful or weak man who complains at bearing burdens. 
A liberal man who would never withhold any generosity or kindness from his 
neighbours. 

Fine young men have perished, men of great esteem, 

Men who would provide food in winter when the cattle were dispersed, 

Camel meat with chunks and slices of fat on top of it, 

Defending their neighbours for so long as those hating them attack. 

I grieve for the young men of whom we are deprived, men like shining lamps, 

Proud men, lords, nobles, men of generosity and breeding, 

Men who purchased praise with their wealth, for praise brings dividends, 

Men who jumped to their bridles if there cried out for them 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 3 ISMA'IL ffiN KATHIR 79 

Someone beset by the misfortunes of an evil time, 

His mounts moving steadily along on the flat land, 

Competing with one another, he being in one group whose chests poured with sweat, 

Moving on until success came, but not from the luck of a winning arrow of chance. 

Hamza, you have rendered me lonely, like a branch severed by someone 
pruning it. 

1 express my pain to you, now that earth and stones are piled above you, 
And a flagstone placed on top of you by the gravedigger, completing his work, 
On an open plain, covering the grave with earth and smoothing it well. 

Our consolation is for us to say, though our speaking it is very hard, that whoever 
has been spared life's misfortunes 

Should come to us for his eyes to weep for our noble dead 
Who acted as they spoke, men of generosity and good deeds, 
Men whose hands were always stretched forth in liberality," 

Ibn Hisham commented, "Most scholars of poetry refute attribution of this 
poem to Hassan." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Ka^ b. Malik spoke the following verses eulogizing Hamza 
and his fellow warriors, 

'Struck by anxiety, you lay sleepless, worried that joyful youth had been stripped 
from you, 

While a Damn girl invited your heart to loving; but your passion is of Ghawr, and 
your wakefulness of Najd. 

Abandon excessive pursuit of passion; you were always blamed for acting that way. 

It is now time for you to refrain, obediently, and to pay heed when counsel warns. 

You were devastated by the loss of Hamza, your stomach in confusion. 

If Mt. Hira 1 itself suffered such a shock its peaks would collapse. 

A chief he was, formed from Hashim's stock wherein He prophethood, nobility and 
leadership, 

Leaders who would slaughter big-humped camels when the wind almost froze the 
water, 

Men who would leave their brave foes prostrate on the batdefield, their lances 
broken in two. 

This was a man who strutted in his armour as though he were a huge, brown, 
big-pawed lion. 

He was the uncle and the confidant of the Prophet, Muhammad, and he went most 
gloriously to his death. 

He went with distinction to his fate, one of a family who aided the Prophet, and of 
whom some sought martyrdom. 

Hind was told the good tidings of this, to alleviate the burning pain inside her, 

When we met her folk that morning on the sandhill, that day her happiness fled. 

(And we talked) of the well at Badr, when Gabriel and Muhammad, beneath our 
flag, repelled the enemy, 

So that the Prophet saw their hosts as two parts whom we could either kill or drive 
away at will, 



80 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Left prostrate at the site, they were 70 in number, 'Utba and al-Aswad among 
them. 

And Ibn al-Mughira too whom we struck above his neck-artery, making it flow 
and foam. 

And it was a sharp sword in the hands of the believers that set Umayya al-Jumahl 
straight. 

The polytheist rabble came to you, chased by the cavalry, like ostriches in retreat. 

What a difference there is in those for ever in hell and those who dwell in paradise 
in eternity!'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on to say that Abd Allah b. Rawaha spoke the following verses 
in mourning for Hamza and his fellow warriors killed at the battle of Uhud. Ibn 
Hisham, however, stated that Abu Zayd recited them to him as having been 
composed by Ka^b b. Malik. But God knows best. 

"My eyes wept, and they had a right to do so; but weeping and wailing will do 
no good. 

For the lion of God, that day they asked, 'Could that man slain be Hamza?' 

Through his death all the Muslims were injured there, the Messenger as well. 

O Hamza, Ya'la's father, the very foundations were destroyed; you were the 
epitome of glory, piety and kindness. 

May God's peace be upon you in paradise, in pleasure that will never end! 

O Hashim, of all men the best, be steadfast; and all your deeds were good and 
generous. 

The Messenger of God is noble and patient; it is at God's command he enunciates 
when he speaks. 

Who will inform Lu J ayy for me, for after today, the world will be utterly changed. 

And before this day they have known and tasted deeds of ours by which the thirst 
for vengeance was satisfied. 

You have all forgotten our blows at the pool of Badr, that day when sudden death 
struck you. 

That day when Abu Jahl fell prostrate, the vultures circled and hovered above him, 

And <Utba and his son also fell, and Shayba was bitten by the burnished sword. 

There we left Umayya stretched out, a slim spear between his ribs. 

Ask the heads of Banu Rabi'a; our swords have notches because of them. 

O Hind," weep and tire not of it; for you are passionate, shedding tears as though 
bereaved of a son. 

And You, Hind, show no joy at Hamza's death; your exultation is despicable. 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Safiyya daughter of c Abd al-Muttalib spoke the following 
verses, mourning her brother Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib. She was the mother 

19. This Hind is presumably Hind daughter of Uthatha b. c Abbad b. c Abd al-Muttalib who 
had eulogized Hamza (see above p. 52), while the Hind of the next line would be the daughter of 
<Utba b. Rabi<a, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who had sworn to eat Hamza's liver when the latter had 
killed her father ^tba at Badr. The two women spoke verses against one another after the battle 
of Uhud. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 81 

of al-Zubayr and was the aunt of the Prophet (SAAS); may God be pleased 
with them all. 

'Are you, sisters of mine, asking, in fear, those present at Uhud, the ignorant and 
knowledgeable alike? 

The knowledgeable replied, "Hamza is dead! The adviser, the very best adviser of 
the Messenger of God! 

The God of truth and the throne has summoned him to paradise, where he will live 
in joy." 

That was what we had hoped for; we anticipate for Hamza the best of fortunes on 
assembly day. 

By God, I'll not forget you so long as the winds blow; I will mourn and be sad 
whether I am at home or away. 

For God's lion who was a defender who protected Islam from all who disbelieved. 

How I wish my limbs and bones had been there then, for the hyenas and vultures 
to attack me! 

I say, my family having made louder their lament, "May God reward well this 
brother, this champion!"'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Nu'man, wife of Shammas b. c Uthman, spoke the following 
verses in mourning for her husband; but God, to whom all praise and credit are 
due, knows best. 

'Eyes, weep copiously and without stop for a noble, brave warrior, 

A man of firm conviction and fine disposition, a standard-bearer and a horseman. 

When his death was announced, I cried in pain, "Gone is the man of generosity! 
Gone is he who fed and clothed!" 

And I said, when his usual places were empty of him, "May God not distance from 
us our nearness to Shammas!" ' 

"Her brother al-Hakam b. Said b. Yarbu c responded as follows in consoling her, 

'Guard your modesty, in seclusion and dignity; Shammas was just one of our men. 
Do not kill yourself because his death has come, in obedience of God, and on a day 
of violence and terror. 

Now Hamza was God's lion; so bear up, for he tasted from Shammas's cup that day.' 

"Hind, daughter of c Utba, the wife of Abu Sufyan, recited, upon their return 
from Uhud, 

'I have returned home with my mind in much confusion, some of those I was after 
having escaped me, 

Those of Quraysh at Badr, and others, including some of Banu Hashim and of the 
people of Yathrib. 

However, I did gain one thing, even if it was not all as I had hoped in my journey.' " 

ibn Ishaq gives many more such poems. We have left out the others because 
of our concern not to be long-winded and boring; those poems we have given 
suffice. And to God be all praise. 



82 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Al-Umawi gave in his military chronicles even more poems than Ibn Ishaq; 
this was his usual practice, though even more evident here. 

Among the verses quoted from Hassan b. Thabit were the following delivered 
about the battle of Uhud, 

"It was the devil they obeyed, when he let them down and their disgrace and failure 

was fully evident, 

When they shouted in unison with Abu Sufyan, 'Rise up, Hubal!' 

We all answered back, 'Our Lord, the All-Merciful, is greater and more splendid!' 

Be sure, you used this cry once at the 'pool of death' (at Badr), death being a place 

to drink. 

You should know that when thoughts of death must be slaked, we are cooking pots 

on the boil.'" 

It seems that these verses may well be part of Hassan's response to ( Abd Allah 
b. al-Ziba c ra; but God knows best. 

This brings to an end commentary on the battle of Uhud. 

Division. 

There has been recounted above those events, raids and expeditions that 
occurred in 3 AH. The best-known of these was the battle of Uhud, that occurred 
in the middle of Shawwal of that year, as we have detailed above. And to God 
be all praise. 

At Uhud, there died as a martyr Abu Yala, also known as Abu c Amara, 
Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib, the uncle of the Messenger of God (SAAS) who was 
known as 'God's lion' and 'His messenger's lion'. He was the foster-brother of 
the Prophet (SAAS), as also was Abu Salama b. <Abd al-Asad. All were suckled 
by Thuwayba, the freed-woman of Abu Lahab, this fact being established in a 
reliable hadith account. 

He would, moreover, have been more than 50 when he was killed. He was a 
brave, heroic man and a major early trusting follower; at that battle others 
totalling 70 were killed along with him. May God be pleased with them all! 

That same year ^thman b. c Affan married Umm Kulthum, the daughter 
of the Messenger of God (SAAS), following the death of her sister Ruqayya. 
His betrothal to her took place in Rabl c al-Awwal of that year, and the marriage 
was consummated in Jumada al-Akhira, as has been told above. Al-Waqidl 
related this. 

Ibn Jarir also said of that year: "Al-Hasan b. c Ali b. Abu Talib was born to 
Fatima, daughter of the Messenger of God (SAAS)." He added that the same 
year she conceived al-Husayn; may God be pleased with them all! 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 83 



In the name of God, the Most Merciful 
and Compassionate; O Lord, facilitate! 



THE YEAR 4 AH. 

In Muharram of that year Abu Salama b. c Abd al-Asad made his foray against 
Tulayha al-Asadl, and he went on as far as the place known as Qatan. 

Al-Waqidl quoted c Umar b. IJthman b. c Abd al-Rahman b. Said al-YarbH% 
from Salama b. <Abd Allah b. "Umar b. Abu Salama and others, as having said, 
"Abu Salama was present at Uhud, where he was seriously wounded in the upper 
arm. He rested for a month recuperating and then, in Muharram, at the beginning 
of 35 months after the Hijra, the Messenger of God (SAAS) summoned him and 
told him, 'I want you to go forth into Banu Asad territory and to attack them.'" 
He charged him to behave with piety and to treat the Muslims with him well. 

One hundred and fifty men accompanied him on this expedition. 

He went out to near Qatan, which is a well belonging to Banu Asad, where 
Tulayha al-Asadl and his brother Salama, both sons of Khuwaylid, were also 
present. He had assembled his allies from Banu Asad with the intention of 
making war against the Prophet (SAAS). But one of their men had come to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) and told him of what they were planning against him. 
He had therefore dispatched Abu Salama on this expedition. 

When they (the Muslims) reached their territory, they dispersed, leaving large 
quantities of camels and goats as booty for them. Abu Salama took all this into 
his possession, along with three of their slaves he had taken prisoner, and set 
out to return to Medina. He then awarded a substantial portion of the booty to 
that man of Banu Asad who had given them information. Having extracted the 
portion due to the Prophet (SAAS), a slave and one-fifth of the booty, he divided 
up the rest among his companions. Then he entered Medina." 

"Ulnar b. ^Jthman stated that c Abd al-Malik b. c Ubayd related to him, from 
c Abd al-Rahman b. Said b. Yarbu c , from TJmar b. Abu Salama, who said, "It was 
Abu Usama al-Jushami who injured my father. He spent a month recovering and 
when he had done so, the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent him, in Muharram 
of that year, 4 AH that is, to Qatan. He was away for some ten days and when 
he returned to Medina his wound got the better of him and he died, three days 
prior to the end of Jumada al-Uwla." 

'Umar then added, "My mother then observed the Hdda m period of four 
months and ten days. Thereafter the Messenger of God (SAAS) contracted 
marriage with her and this he consummated a few days prior to the end of 
Shawwal. My mother used to say, 'There's nothing wrong with contracting and 
consummating a marriage in Shawwal; it was then that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) both contracted and consummated marriage with me.'" 

20. The period of waiting prescribed in Islamic law during which a woman may not remarry 
following the death of her husband. 



84 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

He stated that Umm Salama died in Dhfi ai-Qa^a, 59 AH. 

Al-Bayhaqi related this. 

I observe that we will report in regard to the latter part of this year, 4 AH, that 
it was in Shawwal that the Prophet (SAAS) arranged his marriage with Umm 
Salama. (I will also comment) on whether the son negotiates on his mother's 
behalf in marriage, and I will note the views of scholars in that regard. If God 
Almighty wills it so, and in Him is all confidence. 



THE EXPEDITION TO AL-RAJP. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "In Safar - of the year 4 AH - the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
sent men to the Meccans to receive safe passage from them." 

He added, "Al-Raji' is positioned some eight miles from c Asfan." 

Al-Bukharl stated that Ibrahim b. Musa related to him, quoting Hisham 
b. Yusuf, from Ma'mar, from al-Zuhri, from c Amr b. Abo Sufyan al-Thaqafi, 
from Abu Hurayra, who said, "The Prophet (SAAS) sent out a reconnaissance 
expedition, having appointed c Asim b. Thabit as their leader; he was the 
grandfather of 'Asim b. IJmar b. al-Khattab. 

"They travelled out to a point between c Asfan and Mecca and there news 
of them reached a tribe of Banu Hudhayl known as Barm Lihyan. The latter 
proceeded to pursue them, their force consisting of some 100 archers. They 
followed their tracks to a camp site where they had made a halt and there they 
found kernels of the dates with which the Muslims had provisioned themselves 
in Medina. The Banu Lihyan men recognized these as being from Medina, 
followed on after them and eventually caught up with them. 

"When c Asim and his companions could go no further, they took refuge on an 
outcrop of rock where they were surrounded by Banu Lihyan. The latter told 
them, 'If you come on down, we give you our pledge and promise not to kill any 
one of you.' c Asim replied, 'For myself, I'll not place myself under the security 
of a non-believer. O God, inform Your prophet about us!' 

"The Banu Lihyan men then attacked and killed c Asim and seven of his men 
with arrows. Khubayb, Zayd and one other man remained alive. When Banu 
Lihyan repeated their pledge and promise, Khubayb and the others came down. 
When they had them in their power, their enemy untied some bow strings with 
which they bound their prisoners. The third Muslim remonstrated, 'So now 
the treachery begins!' He then refused to accompany them. His captors dragged 
him along, trying to force him to accompany them, but when he resisted, they 
killed him. 

"They then set off with Khubayb and Zayd and sold them in Mecca. The 
tribe of al-Harith b. c Amir b. Nawfal bought Khubayb; it had been Khubayb 
who had killed al-Harith at the battle of Badr. He remained with them for some 
time as their prisoner until they decided to kill him. Khubayb then asked one of 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 85 

al-Harith's daughters if he could borrow a razor with which to shave his pubic 
hair and she loaned him one. 

"She later said, 'My attention then left a baby of mine who crawled over 
to Khubayb, who lifted it up on to his lap. When I saw the baby there I was 
terrified and Khubayb, holding the razor, saw this and asked, 'Are you scared 
I might kill him? I would hope to God I'd never do any such thing!' 

"She used to comment, 'I never saw a better prisoner than Khubayb. I once 
saw him, bound in irons, eating a large bunch of grapes at a time when there were 
no such fruit in Mecca; the grapes were nothing but bounty that God bestowed 
on him.' 

"His captors ultimately took him outside the sanctuary to kill him. He asked, 
'Allow me to make two rak l at in prayer.' Having done so, he went over to them 
and said, 'Except for the fact that you would have thought me scared of dying, I 
would have prayed longer.' He was the first to institute the practice of making 
two raW-at before execution. Khubayb then said, 'O God, count them one by one, 
and give them violent death!' 

"He also spoke the following verses, 

'Being killed as a Muslim, I care not how my death comes, since it is in God's 
cause. 

For that is God's prerogative; and if He wishes He will give His blessings to 
severed limbs.' 

"Thereupon <Uqba b. al-Harith went up and killed him. Quraysh later sent 
for a part of c Asim's body that they would recognize; c Asim had killed one of 
their leaders at Badr. But God sent down a cloud of wasps; these protected his 
body from the Quraysh emissaries who could not gain access to him." 

Al-Bukhari went on to state that <Abd Allah b. Muhammad related to him, 
quoting Sufyan, from c Amr, who heard Jabir b. <Abd Allah say, "It was Abu 
Sarwa'a who killed Khubayb." 

I comment that the man's name was <Uqba b. al-Harith He accepted Islam 
thereafter and there is a hadith attributed to him concerning the foster relation- 
ship. It is said that Abu Sarwa*a and MJqba were brothers. But God knows best. 

This is the account of the expedition to al-Rajl c as given by al-Bukhari in the 
section of military campaigns in his Sahih collection. He also related this in his 
section on al-tawhid, and on al-jihad, through various lines from al-Zuhri, ( Amr 
b. Abu Sufyan, Asad b. Haritha al-Thaqafi, ally of Banu Zuhra. Some authorities 
give the above name as ^mar b. Abu Sufyan, though it is widely accepted to 
be c Amr. 

In one account of al-Bukhari he states, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
despatched ten men on a reconnaisance expedition, appointing c Asim b. Thabit 
b. Abu al-Aqlah as their leader." 



86 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Muhammad b. Ishaq, Musa b. <Uqba and HLJrwa b. al-Zubayr, however, offer 
somewhat contradictory accounts. We will give herewith the wording of Ibn 
Ishaq to show the difference and discrepancy. Ibn Ishaq is, however, the 
unchallenged leading authority in this, for as al-Shafi% may God be pleased 
with him, put it, "Whoever wishes to research the early military engagements 
is reliant upon Muhammad b. Ishaq." 

Ibn Ishaq stated that c Asim b. 'Umar b. Qatada related to him, "A group of 
men from ( Adal and from al-Qara approached the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
after the battle of Uhud and asked, 'O Messenger of God, Islam has already 
reached us. Could you now send a group of your Companions to give us 
instruction in the religion, in how to recite the Qur'an, and in the laws of Islam?' 

"The Messenger of God (§AAS), therefore did send with them a group of six 
of his Companions. These were Marthad b. Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi, an ally of 
Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib - Ibn Ishaq relates that he was their leader - Khalid 
b. al-Bukayr al-Laythi, ally of Banu 'Adi, c Asim b. Thabit b. Abu al-Aqlah, 
brother of Banu c Amr b. 'Awf, Khubayb b. c Adi, brother of Banu Jahjabi b. 
Kulfa b. 'Amr b. c Awf, Zayd b. al-Dathina, brother of Banu Bayada b. c Amir, 
c Abd Allah b. Tariq, ally of Banu Zafar. May God be pleased with them all." 

Ibn Ishaq, therefore, is stating that they were six in number; Musa b. ^qba 
stated the same, and named them as Ibn Ishaq had done. 

Al-Bukhari, however, states that they were ten in number and, according to 
him, it was c Asim b. Thabit b. Abu al-Aflah who was their leader. God knows 
best. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "These men went forth as far as al-Rajl c , a well belonging 
to Hudhayl in the Hijaz, above al-Had'a. 21 There (other persons) betrayed them 
and aroused Hudhayl against them. The party were there in camp when men 
bearing swords suddenly descended upon them. They therefore took up their 
own swords to do battle. Their attackers, however, told them, 'We swear by God 
we don't want to kill you; we just want to get some money for you from the 
Meccans. We pledge and promise by God that we will not kill you.' 

"Marthad, Khalid b. al-Bukayr and c Asim b. Thabit, however, replied, 'By 
God, we'll never accept any pledge or oath made by a polytheist.' c Asim b. Thabit 
then recited - and God knows best and to Him is all praise and reliance — 

'What weakness do I have, a brave archer with a bow that has a tough string? 
Long, thick arrows can wing from it; and death is truth, life false. 
All that God determines comes about for man and man to Him returns. 
If I do not batde you, then may my mother be bereaved!' 

'^Asim also recited, 

'I am Abu Sulayman, and I have arrows made by al-Muq c ad" and weapons like 
hell's fire. 

21. A location between 'Asian and Mecca, some seven miles from 'Asfan. 

22. The name of a well-known Meccan arrow-maker. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 87 

When fighters throng, I'm not afraid; I have my shield of smooth bull's leather. 
And I'm a believer in Muhammad's mission.' 
"He also said, 

'I'm Abu Sulayman, an archer, and my people are of noble stock.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He then fought until he was killed, as were also two of his 
companions. 

"When c Asim was killed, Hudhayl wanted to take his head and sell it to Sulafa, 
daughter of Sa^ b. Suhayl. She had sworn after he had killed her two sons at Uhud 
that if she got possession of c Asim's head, she would drink wine from his skull. 

"But when wasps prevented their getting access to it, they said, 'Let's leave 
him till nightfall; then they will leave and we will take it.' And so God sent 
(a flood) into the wadi which bore c Asim away. He had made a pledge to God 
that no polyrheist would ever touch him, or he one of them, because they might 
sully him. 

'"Umar b. al-Khattab used to say, when someone said that the wasps had 
protected him, 'God does protect believers.' 

" c Asim had sworn that no polytheist would ever touch him or he one of them 
during his life; and God protected him after his death just as he had defended 
God while living!" 23 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "However, Khubayb, Zayd b. al-Dathina and c Abd Allah b. 
Tariq were weak and pliant and protective of their lives and so gave themselves up. 
The enemy took them prisoner and then took them into Mecca to sell them there. 

"When they were in al-Zahran, c Abd Allah b. Tariq extracted his hand from 
his bonds and drew his sword. The enemy, however, kept their distance from 
him and pelted him with stones until they had killed him. His grave is there 
at al-Zahran. 

"Khubayb b. c Adl and Zayd b. al-Dathina were brought on into Mecca where 
they were bought by Quraysh in exchange for two prisoners of Hudhayl who 
were in Mecca. 

"Hujayr b. Abu Ihab al-Tamlml, an ally of Banu Nawfal, bought Khubayb 
on behalf of c Uqba b. al-Harith b. < Amir b. Nawfal to kill him for his father; Abu 
Ihab was the brother of al-Harith b. ( Amir by the same mother. 

"Zayd b. al-Dathina was bought by Safwan b. Unuyya to kill him in revenge 
for his own father. Safwan despatched him to al-Tan*im in the company of 
a freed-man of his named Nistas who took him outside the sanctuary to kill 
him. A group of Quraysh gathered among whom was Abu Sufyan b. Harb. Abu 
Sufyan asked him, as he was being brought forth for execution, 'I implore you, 
by God, Zayd; wouldn't you like it to be Muhammad here in your place with us 
now for us to strike off his head, and for you to be with your own people?' 

23. The line could be translated alternatively: "... just as God had protected him while he 
was alive". 



88 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"He replied, 'By God, I would not like Muhammad, wherever he now is, to 
be harmed by even a single thorn and for me to be sitting among my people.' 

"Abu Sufyan used to say, 'I never saw anyone so love anyone else as 
Muhammad's Companions loved Muhammad.' 

"Nistas then killed him. 

"Regarding Khubayb b. c Adi. c Abd Allah b. Abu Najlh related to me that it 
was related to him from Mawiyya, the freed- woman of Hujayr b. Abu Ihab, who 
had accepted Islam, who said, 'Khubayb was kept prisoner in my home. One day 
I looked at him and saw that he was eating from his hand a bunch of grapes as 
large as a man's head - and that at a time when I don't know of any grapes being 
eaten anywhere on God's earth!"' 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "^Asim b. TJraar b. Qatada and c Abd Allah b. Abu Najlh 
related to me that she also said, 'When the time for his execution came, he said, 
"Send for a steel blade with which I can clean myself off for the execution." ' She 
went on, 'So I gave a razor to a young man from the tribe and told him, "Take 
this to the man in the house." But no sooner had the youth left with it than I 
began asking myself what I had done. The man will take his revenge by killing 
this youth, making it one man for another, I thought. But when the youth handed 
Khubayb the blade, the latter commented, "Wasn't your mother afraid of my 
treachery when she sent you to me with this blade?" He then allowed the youth 
to leave.'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "It is said that the youth was her own son." 

Ibn Ishaq went on to quote c Asim as saying, "They then took Khubayb out to 
al-Tan c Im to crucify him. 

"He spoke to them as follows, 'I'd appreciate you letting me alone to make two 
rak l at in prayer.' They agreed and he did so very we'll. Then he went over to 
those present and said, 'I swear, if I had not been concerned that you would think 
I had taken a long time out of fear of dying, I would have prayed more!' 

"It was Khubayb who was the first to begin the practice by Muslims of 
making two prayer prostrations before execution. 

"They then raised him up to the scaffold and when they had bound him there 
he said, 'O God, we have announced your messenger's mission, so inform him 
tomorrow of what is being done to us.' He then said, 'O God, count them and 
kill them violently; let none of them escape.' They then killed him. 

"Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan used to say, 'I was there along with others in the 
company of Abu Sufyan and had him throw me to the ground in fear of 
Khubayb's curse. People used to say, "A man who has an oath spoken against 
him can escape it by falling on his side." ' " 

In the maghazi, military chronicle, collection of Musa b. ^qba, it states, 
"Khubayb and Zayd b. al-Dathina were killed on the same day and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) heard of it that very day. He then said, 'May 
peace be upon you both' - or 'upon you', singular. 'Quraysh have killed 
Khubayb!'" 



IMA M ABO AL-FID A 3 ISMA C IL IBN KATHI R 89 

It is said that when they crucified Zayd b. al-Dathina, they cast arrows at 
him to subvert him away from his religion, but this only increased his faith and 
his acceptance of his fate. 

<Urwa and Musa b. TJqba related that when they raised Khubayb on to 
the wooden frame, those present called out to him, "Would you not prefer 
Muhammad to be in your place?" 

He replied, "No, by God Almighty, I'd not have him ransom me by having 
a thorn pierce his foot!' But they laughed at him. This is reported by Ibn Ishaq 
in his account relating to Zayd b. al-Dathina. But God knows best. 

Musa b. <Uqba stated, "They claim that it was c Amr b. Umayya who buried 
Khubayb." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Yahya b. c Abbad b. c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr related to 
me, from his father 'Abbad, from <Uqba b. al-Harith, who said, 'I heard him say, 
"I swear by God, it was not I who killed Khubayb; I was too young for that. It 
was Abu Maysara, brother of Banu c Abd al-Dar, who took the spear and placed 
it in my hand. He then grasped my hand and the spear and pierced him with it 
until he had killed him."'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "One of our associates told me, <c Umar b. al-Khattab 
appointed Said b. c Amir b. Hidhyam al-Juhaml over part of Syria. He would 
suffer from fainting spells when he was with people and this was reported 
to HJmar. It was said that the man had some affliction, HJmar asked him on a 
visit he made to him, "Said, what is it that ails you?" He replied, "By God, 
Commander of the Faithful, there's nothing the matter with me; it's just that 
I was among those present when Khubayb b. c Adi was killed. And I heard his 
curse. And whenever I'm meeting people and recall this, I feel faint." <Umar 
thought all the better of him thereafter.'" 

Al-Umawi stated, "My father quoted Ibn Ishaq as having said, 'We have 
been told that c Umar said, "Anyone who wants to see a man who is unique 
should look at Said b. 'Amir.'"" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Khubayb remained in their captivity until the sacred 
months had expired and then they killed him." 

Al-Bayhaqi related, from Ibrahim b. Ismail, as follows, "Jalar b. c Amr b. 
Umayya related to me, from his father, from his grandfather ( Amr b. Umayya, 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had sent him forth alone to get information. 
He said, 'I made my way to the wooden frame where Khubayb was and climbed 
up, fearing I might be seen. I released him and he fell to the ground. I then drew 
away a little, then turned but could not see anything there; it was as if the earth 
had swallowed him. And not a trace of Khubayb has appeared up to this time.'" 

Ibn Ishaq then quoted Muhammad b. Abu Muhammad, from Said or 
'Ikrima, from Ibn <Abbas, who said, "When the men were killed at al-Raji*, 
some hypocrites said, 'How sad for those misguided people who died that way. 
They neither stayed with their families, nor did they carry out their master's 



90 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

It was about them that God revealed the words, "There may be a person 
whose words about this life may please you, while he invokes God to witness 
what is in his heart. Yet he may be the most vehement of enemies" (surat 
al~Baqara\ II, v.204). 

And God revealed concerning those who went on this expedition, "There are 
those who sell themselves seeking God's favour, and God is compassionate to 
His servants" (surat al-Baqara; II, v.207). 

Ibn Ishaq stated that the following verses were spoken about this expedition by 
Khubayb when people gathered to kill him. Ibn Hisham observed that some 
authorities deny that he was their author: 

"The parties gathered around me, assembled their tribes and collected all the 
groups together; 

AH of them showed enmity towards me and antagonism, because I was in bonds, 
tighdy held. 

They had gathered their women and children and I was taken to a tall, stout 
tree-trunk; 

I complain to God at my isolation and my torment and at the death the enemy 
planned for me. 

Lord of the Throne, give me patience to withstand what it is they intend; they 
have slashed my flesh and my hope despairs. 

This is happening in God's cause, and if He wishes He will bless torn-off limbs. 
They offered me the choice between disbelief and death, and my eyes were wet 
from something other than fear. 

1 have no fear of death — and am already dead; but what I dread is the consuming 
fire of hell. 

By God, if I die a Muslim, I care not in what way my death in God's cause may occur. 
I shall not express subservience to the enemy, nor any fear, for it is to God I am 
returning." 

Two of these verses are given also 24 in the Sahih collection of al-Bukharl. These 

are the lines, 

"I do not care, when I die as a Muslim, in what manner my death in God's cause 
may occur. 

This is happening in God's cause; and if He wishes, He will bless torn-off limbs." 

Ibn Ishaq quotes Hassan b. Thabit as having spoken the following elegy for 

Khubayb: 

"What is wrong with your eyes, ceaselessly letting fall their teardrops on to your 
breast like pearls, 

Over Khubayb, a hero of the brave, no coward when you challenge him and not 
frivolous, as is well known. 

24. With slight variations in some wording and the transposition of one line. 



IMA M ABD AL-FID A> ISMA<IL IBN KATHI R 9 1 

Go forth, Khubayb, and may God reward you well, in eternal paradise with hourii* 
for companions. 

What will you respond when the Prophet asks you, while pure angels are there on 
the horizon, 

Why it was you killed God's martyr for a tyrant who committed crimes throughout 
the land?" 

Ibn Hisham commented that he had left out certain verses containing obscenities. 
Hassan also, according to Ibn Ishaq, recited the following verses attacking 
those of Banu Libyan who had betrayed those who went to al-Rajl c . But God 
alone, in Whom is all trust, confidence and protection, knows best. 

"If pure, unadulterated treachery delights you, then go to al-Raji c and ask where 
Lihyan live; 

They are a people who advise one another to eat the neighbours who come among 
them, dogs, monkeys and men being all alike! 

If a billy-goat could talk arid arose one day to address them, they would consider 
him someone of honour and importance!" 

Hassan b. Thabit also said, satirizing Hudhayl and Banu Lihyan for their 
treachery towards those who had gone to al-Rajl c , may God be pleased with 
them all: 

"By my life, the stories told of Khubayb and ( Asim have disgraced Hudhayl b. 
Mudrik, 

Tales told of Lihyan have brought them ignominy, 

For Lihyan have committed the most evil of crimes. 

Their men, those from the very best of their tribe, those like the very hairs behind 
the fedock of a horse's front legs. 

They betrayed at al-Raji* and surrendered their charges, men of decency and fine 
qualities. 

They betrayed the apostle's messenger; Hudhayl gave no protection against 
horrendous crimes. 

They will one day see victory go against them for killing one protected against 
evil actions, 

By swarms of wasps guarding his flesh, protecting the flesh of one who witnessed 
mighty battles. 

Hudhayl may well see the bodies of those killed laid out or at funerals. 

We will engage them in fierce battles that riders will relate to fairgoers. 

At the orders of the Messenger of God; His messenger has made his decision 
against Lihyan, forcefully and with knowledge. 

A despicable tribe that cares nothing for fidelity and does not repel the tyrant's 
hand when wronged. 

When (some) people live in the open desert, them you find at the very rivers, amidst 
the streams. 

25. In Islam, the handmaidens of paradise whose company is a reward for exemplary behaviour 
on earth. 



92 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Their abode is that of death; their response when harmed is like that of dumb 
beasts." 

Hassan, may God be pleased with him, also spoke the following in praise of the 
men at al-Rajl c , naming them in his verses. Ibn Ishaq, God be pleased with him, 
recorded the following: 

"May God bless those who went forth together at al-Raji c and who were honoured 
and rewarded. 

The party's leader and commander was Marthad, and Ibn al-Bukayr was their 
Imam, along with Khubayb. 

And there was a son ofTariq and Ibn Dathina was of them; it was there he met his 
pre-determined fate. 

And there was al- c Asim, slain at al-Rajl c , who reached the very heights (of heaven); 
how much he gained! 

He prevented the panderers from striking his back by fighting fiercely; he was 
splendid." 

Ibn Hisham commented that most authorities deny that these are verses of 
Hassan. 



THE EXPEDITION OF <AMR B. UMA YYA AL-DAMRI, FOLLOWING 
THE EXECUTION OF KHUBA YB. 

Al-Waqidl stated, Ibrahim b. Ja'far related to me, from his father, and (as did) 
c Abd Allah b. Abu IJbayda, from Jafar b. al-Fadl b. al-Hasan b. c Amr b. 
Umayya al-Damri, and (as did) c Abd Allah b. Jafar, from c Abd al-Wahid b. 
Abu c Awf, some of these giving longer accounts than others. They stated, 
"Abu Sufyan had asked a number of Quraysh men in Mecca, 'Won't someone 
assassinate Muhammad? He goes walking in the markets. We would then have 
our revenge.' A bedouin came to him, went inside his house and told him, 'If you 
will hire me, I'll go out and assassinate him. I'm a skilled tracker and I have a 
dagger that is (concealed) like the under-wing feathers of an eagle.' 'Then 
you're our man!' he replied, and gave him a camel and expense money. He told 
him, 'Keep this secret; I don't want anyone to hear of this and report it to 
Muhammad.' The bedouin assured him that no one would know of it. 

"He then left by night on his mount, travelling on for five days, arriving in 
the quarter on the morning of the sixth. He then went about enquiring after the 
Messenger of God (SAAS); when he reached the place for prayer someone told 
him, 'He has gone off to see Banu c Abd al-Ashhal.' 

"The bedouin then left, leading his mount. When he arrived where Banu 'Abd 
al-Ashhal were, he hobbled his camel and went to seek the Messenger of God 
(SAAS). He found him amidst a group of his Companions, addressing them in 
his mosque. When the bedouin entered and the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 93 

him, he told his men, 'This man intends some treachery, but God will foil his 
plan.' The bedouin stood there and asked, 'Which one of you is c Abd al-Muttalib's 
son?' The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 'I'm c Abd al-Muttalib's son.' 
The bedouin approached and leaned down over the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
as though confiding a secret to him. But Usayd b- Hudayr pulled him away, 
saying, 'Keep away from the Messenger of God (SAAS)!' Usayd then felt down 
in his loin cloth and there found the dagger. He then announced, 'Messenger of 
God, this man is a traitor!' 

"The bedouin stood there aghast and said, 'Take my blood! Take my blood, 
Muhammad!' 

"Usayd b. Hudayr seized him and was about to slit his throat when the 
Prophet (SAAS), said, 'Tell me the truth about yourself and why you have come. 
And if you tell the truth your honesty will serve you well; but if you lie to me, 
I'll proceed as I intended.' 

"'Then I'll be free?' the bedouin asked. 

"'Yes, you'll be free,' he replied. 

"The bedouin then told him about Abu Sufyan and what he told him to do, 
and he was then given over to the charge of Usayd b. Hudayr. Next day the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) summoned him and told him, 'I will either set you 
free to go wherever you want, or would you prefer something better than that?' 
'What would that be?' the bedouin asked. 'That you give testimony that there is 
no god but God, and that I am God's messenger.' 

"The bedouin then said, 'I do testify that there is no god but God and that 
you are the Messenger of God. I swear by God, Muhammad, that I was never 
afraid of any man. But as soon as I saw you all my strength left me. Then you 
perceived what I had intended, though no rider had reached you before myself 
with any information and no one had any information. So I realized that you 
were inviolate, that you were truth and that the party of Abu Sufyan was that 
of the devil.' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) began to smile at this. He (the bedouin) remained 
there for some days then asked permission of the Prophet (SAAS) to leave and, 
having done so, nothing more was heard of him. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said to c Amr b. Umayya al-Damrl and 
to Salama b. Aslam b. Hans, 'Go to Abu Sufyan b. Harb and if you should catch 
him unawares, then kill him.' 

"^Amr related, 'I and my companion then left, travelling on until we reached 
the Ya'jij valley. We tied up our mounts and my companion asked me, " c Amr, 
would you like for us to go on into Mecca and circumambulate the ka'-ba seven 
times and make two rak c as in prayer?" I replied, "I'm better informed about the 
people of Mecca than you are and after dark they dampen down their courtyards 
and sit down there. I know Mecca better than a piebald mare!" But he disagreed 
with me and so we went on into Mecca. We made seven circumambulations 
and did make two rakcas. When I went outside (the sanctuary) I was met by 



94 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Mu'awiya b, Abu Sufyan, who recognized me. "It's c Amr b. Umayya! What a 
pity," he said. He then drew the attention of the Meccans to us, who said, " c Amr 
has not eome here for anything good!' — ( Amr had been renowned before Islam 
as an assassin. 

"The Meccans then gathered men together and 'Amr and Salama left, being 
pursued, and all hurried up into the mountains. 

" c Amr went on, 'I entered a cave and hid from them till next morning. They 
had spent the night searching for us, but God blinded their sight from finding 
their way to the road to Medina. The morning of the next day, ^thman b. 
Malik b. t Ubayd Allah al-Tayml approached, looking for grass for his horse. I 
commented to Salama b. Aslam, "If he sees us, he'll tell the Meccans where we 
are, and they will discover us." He kept on approaching until he was right 
over us. I then went out to him and thrust my dagger once beneath a nipple. He 
fell down, screaming. So the Meccans gathered and advanced together, having 
previously been separated. I went back inside and told my companion, "Don't 
move!" The Meccans approached until they were right there and then they asked 
(^Uthman b. Malik) who had killed him. "It was 'Amr b. Umayya al-Damn," 
they replied. Abu Sufyan then said, "We knew he had not come for any good 
reason!" But ( c Uthman) was not able to tell them where we were; he was at 
his last gasp and died. They were distracted from seeking us by their (dead) 
comrade and carried him away. 

" 'We remained in our place for two nights until the search for us had died 
down; we then left for al-Tan ( Im. My companion asked me, " c Amr b. Umayya, 
would you like us to go for Khubayb b. { Adl, to bring him down?" "Where 
is he?" I asked. "Over there, crucified," he replied, "with a guard around him." 
I answered, "Leave me here awhile, and you go on. If something frightens you, 
then move over to your camel and sit on it. Then proceed to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), and tell him the news. Leave me here; I know the town." I then 
searched for him (Khubayb's body) until I found him and carried him away on 
my back. I had not walked more that 20 arms' lengths before they all woke 
up and set off after me. I threw down the wooden scaffold, and I'll never forget 
the sound it made. Then I piled earth up over it with my feet and took off on 
the Safra> road. Eventually they tired (of following) and went back, leaving me 
much relieved. My companion hurried over and mounted his camel, which he 
rode off to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and told him what had happened. I 
then travelled on until I was overlooking al-Ghalil, al-Ghalll Dajnan; there I 
went into a cave carrying my bow, arrows and dagger. While I was there a 
man of Banu al-Dll b. Bakr arrived; he was tall, one-eyed and herding sheep 
and goats. He came inside the cave and asked, "What man is here?" I replied, "A 
man of Banu Bakr." "I too am of Banu Bakr," he said. He then made himself 
comfortable, and raised his voice in a song, 

"I'll be not Muslim so long as I live; I'll never 
profess the Muslims' faith." 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 95 

" 'I said to myself, "By God, I hope I get to kill you!" When he was asleep, I went 
over to him and killed him more brutally than I ever have anyone. 

" 'I then left there and proceeded on down. When I got to the road, there were 
two men who had been sent by Quraysh to gather news. I told them, "Consider 
yourselves prisoners!" One of them refused, so I shot and killed him. When the 
other saw this, he gave himself up and I bound him and took him on in to the 
Prophet (SAAS). 

" 'When I reached Medina, ansar children gathered around me, playing, and 
they heard their elders say, "This is c Amr." The children raced off to tell the 
Prophet (SAAS), and I took the prisoner in to him, having bound his thumbs 
together with my bow string. I noticed that the Prophet (SAAS) was laughing. 
He then said a prayer for me.'" 

The arrival of Salama was three days before that of c Amr. 

Al-Bayhaqi related this. 

It is stated above that after <Umar cut Khubayb down, he saw no cadaver or 
body. Perhaps he was buried where he fell; God knows best. 

Ibn Hisham merely added this expedition to the text of Ibn Ishaq, his being 
similar to that of al-Waqidi. However, his account gives the companion of 
c Amr b. Umayya on this expedition as Jabbar b. Sakhr. But God knows best; and 
all praise be to God. 



THE EXPEDITION TO BPR MA<UNA. 

It took place in Safar of that year, 4 AH. The late Makhul, may God have mercy 
on him, is unique in stating that it occurred after the battle of al-khandaq, "the 
ditch". 

Al-Bukharl stated that Abu Ma c mar related to him, quoting c Abd al-Warith, 
quoting c Abd al- c Aziz, from Anas b. Malik who said, "The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) sent out 70 men, known as al-qurra>, on a mission. Their way was 
blocked by two tribes of Banu Sulaym, Rrt and Dhakwan, at a well called 
Ma c una. The Muslims told them, 'We have not come out to fight you; we're sent 
on a mission for the Messenger of God (SAAS).' But the tribesmen killed them. 

"Consequently, the Prophet (SAAS) spoke against them for a month at each 
morning prayer. This began the practice of saying the qunutf' previously we had 
not done so." 

26. The word, used in the Qur'an, has associations of being humble and submissive to God, and 
also to stand up, or to remain standing. The term du l a al-qunut, the prayer of supplication or of 
standing, is given in Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon in Arabic and with an English translation, as 
follows, "O God, verily we beg for Thy aid to be obedient and to forsake disobedience, and we beg 
of Thee forgiveness of sins (and we believe in Thee, and we rely upon Thee) and we laud Thee well, 
and we will not be unthankful to Thee for Thy favour, and we cast off and forsake him who disobeys 
Thee: (O God Thee we worship. And to Thee we perform the divinely appointed act of prayer, 
and prostrate ourselves); and we are quick in working for Thee and in serving Thee; we hope for 
Thy mercy, and we dread Thy punishment; verily, Thy punishment overtakes the unbelievers." 



96 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Muslim related it from a hadtth of Hammad b. Salama, from Thabit, from 
Anas in similar words. 

Al-Bukharl then stated, " c Abd al-Ala b. Hammad related to us, quoting 
Yazld b. Zuray*, quoting Sa c ld, from Qatada, from Anas b. Malik, that Ri c l, 
Dhakwan, *Usayya and Banu Lihyan asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) for 
assistance against an enemy and so he provided them the help of 70 of the ansar. 
We used at that time to name them the al-qurra 1 ; they would collect wood by day 
and pray by night. Eventually, when they were at Bi>r Ma'una the tribesmen 
killed them, having betrayed them. After this reached the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), he said the qunut prayers for a month, each morning saying prayers 
against these bedouin tribes of Ril, Dhakwan, c Usayya and Banu Lihyan." Anas 
stated, "And we would recite Qur'an verses too, but these were later rescinded. 
These words were, 'Inform our people about us — that we have met our Lord. 
And He is pleased with us and has pleased us.'" 

Al-Bukharl went on, "Musa b. Isma c il related to us, quoting Hamam, from 
Ishaq b. c Abd Allah b. Abu Talha, quoting Anas b. Malik, that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) sent out Haram, the brother of Umm Sulaym, in charge of a 
party of 70 mounted men. The pagan chief c Amir b. al-Tufayl had proposed 
three choices to the Messenger of God (SAAS). He had told him, 'You can have 
control over the bedouin, while I will control the townspeople. Or I could be 
appointed as your successor. Otherwise, I will do battle with you at the head 
of 2,000 men of Banu Ghatafan.' 

"But c Amir contracted typhoid at the home of Umm So-and-So. He then said, 
'Shall I suffer from a swelling like that of a she-camel in the home of a woman 
from the So-and-So family? Bring me my horse.' And subsequently he died on 
the back of his horse. 

"Haram, Umm Sulaym's brother, along with one man who was lame and 
another man of Banu So-and-So then went further on. Haram told his companions, 
'Stay close by me until I get near them; if they are peaceful, you'll be right there, 
but if they kill me, then you can go back to your comrades.' 

"Haram then went out to them and asked them, 'Will you let me deliver in 
peace a message to you from the Messenger of God (SAAS)?' 

"He then began addressing them, but they signalled to a man who came up to 
him from behind and stabbed him. Haram cried out, 'God is very great! I have 
succeeded, by the Lord of the ka c baV 

"The tribesmen then attacked and killed all Haram's companions except for 
the man who was lame, and escaped up into the mountain. It was then that God 
revealed to us the verses, later rescinded, 'We have met our Lord. And He is 
pleased with us and has pleased us.' 

"Each morning for the following 30 days the Prophet (SAAS) spoke prayers 
against Rrt, Dhakwan, Banu Lihyan and c Usayya, who had disobeyed God and 
His messenger." 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 97 

Al-Bukhan also said that Hibban related to him, quoting c Abd Allah, who said 
that Ma c mar informed him as follows, "Thumama b. c Abd Allah b. Anas related 
to me that he heard Anas b. Malik say, 'When Haram b. Milhan - who was 
Anas's uncle - was stabbed at al-Ma'una, he said, "Thus I do with my blood!" 
And he began wiping it all over his face and head. Then he said, "I have 
succeeded, by the Lord of the ka l bal" ,n 

Al-Bukharl also recounted, from c Ubayd b. Isma c ll, from Abu Usama, from 
Hisham b. <Urwa, who said, "My father told me as follows, 'When the men were 
killed at Bi'r Ma c una and c Amr b. Umayya al-Damri was taken prisoner, c Amir 
b. al-Tufayl asked the father, pointing to a corpse, "Who is this?" c Amr replied, 
"This was c Amir b. Fuhayra. And after he was killed, I saw him raised up into the 
sky until I could actually see sky between him and the earth. He was then brought 
back down." When news of them reached the Prophet (SAAS), he announced 
their death, saying, "Your comrades have been killed; they asked their Lord, 
'O God, inform our brothers about us, and of how we are pleased with You and 
You are pleased with us.'" And so it was that He had informed them (the 
Prophet (SAAS) and his Companions) about them. On that day TJrwa b. Asma? 
b. al-Salt, who was among them, was killed. And ^Urwa (b. al-Zubayrz) was 
named after him, while Mundhir (b. al-Zubayrz) was named after Mundhir b. 
( Amr (also killed that day).'" 

These, then are the accounts related by al-Bukhari on a line of transmission 
back to IJrwa. 

Al-Bayhaql related this from a hadtth of Yahya b. Sa'id, from Abu Usama, from 
Hisham, from his father, from { A'isha. That account proceeds from the Hijra 
and relates at its conclusion what is told here by al-Bukhari. But God knows best. 

Al-Waqidl recounted it from Mus'ab b. Thabit, Abu al-Aswad, from <Urwa. 
He related the story of c Amir b. Fuhayra, and how c Amir b. al-Tufayl reported 
how he was raised up to heaven. His account tells that the person who killed him 
was Jabbar b. Salma al-Kilabl. 

He stated, "And when the man pierced him with the spear, he exclaimed, 
'I have succeeded, by the Lord of the kat-baV 

"Then Jabbar asked, 'What did he mean when he said, "I have succeeded?'" 
People replied, 'He meant with paradise.' And so he then said, 'He was right, by 
God!' Thereafter Jabbar accepted Islam, for that reason." 

In the Maghazi, the military chronicle, of Miisa b. c Uqba, ^rwa is quoted as 
saying, "The body of c Amir b. Fuhayra was not found; it is said that the angels 
hid it." 

Yunus (b. Bukayr) stated, quoting Ibn Ishaq, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
remained there - following Uhud, that is — for the rest of Shawwal, through Dhu 
al-Qa'da, Dhu al-Hijja and Muharram. Then, in Safar, he sent out the men who 
died at Bi'r Ma c una, four months following Uhud." 



98 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

He went on, "Ibn Ishaq b. Yasar related to me, from al-Mughira b. c Abd 
al-Rahman b. al-Harith b. Hisham, and c Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Bakr b. 
Muhammad b. ( Amr b. Hazm, along with scholars other than these two men, 
as follows, 'Abu Bara' c Amir b. Malik b. Ja c far, (known as) mulaHb al-asinna, "He 
who Toys with Spears", came to the Messenger of God (SAAS) in Medina, who 
explained Islam to him and invited him to accept it. But Abu Bara 5 neither did 
so nor refused, but said, "O Muhammad, if you were to despatch some 
of your Companions to the people of Najd, inviting them to join you, I would 
hope they would respond positively to you." 

"'But the Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, "But I would fear for them from 
the people of Najd." 

'"Abu Bara' replied that he would give them protection. 

"'And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) despatched al-Mundhir b. c Amr, 
brother of Banu Sa'ida, (known as) al-mtfiniq liyamiit, "Eager for Death", with 
a party of 40 of his companions, some of the best of the Muslims. They included 
al-Harith b. al-Simma, Haram b. Milhln, brother of Banu ( Adl b. al-Najjar, 
<Urwa b. Asma 5 b. al-Salt al-Sulami, Nafi c b. Budayl b. Warqa 5 al-Khuza% c Amir 
b. Fuhayra, the freed-man of Abu Bakr, along with other warriors of the Muslim 
elite. 

" 'They travelled as far as the well at Ma c Qna, between the territory of Banu 
^mir and the harra, "the lava field", of Banu Sulaym, where they halted. Having 
made camp, they sent out Haram b. Milhan with a letter from the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), addressed to 'Amir b. al-Tufayl. When Haram reached him, c Amir 
did not look at the document but attacked and killed the man. He then invited 
Banu c Amir to attack, but they refused to do as he wanted, responding, "We'll 
not betray Abu Bara 5 ; he has given them a pledge and his protection." 

'" c Amir b. al-Tufayl then invited the tribes of Banu Sulaym, 'Usayya, Ril, 
Dhakwan and al-Qjra, and they agreed to attack the Muslims. They came out 
against them by surprising and surrounding them while the Muslims were with 
their baggage. When they saw the enemy attacking, they drew their swords and 
fought them until all the Muslims were killed, except for Ka'b b. Zayd, brother 
of Banu Dinar b. al-Najjar. The left him there barely alive; he was picked up 
from among the dead and lived on until he was killed at the battle of al-khandaq. 

*" c Amr b. Umayya al-Damrl and another Muslim, one of the ansUr, of Banu 
c Amr b. c Awf, were out grazing the camels and did not know of the death of 
their comrades until they saw vultures circling over their camp. They assumed 
something was wrong when they saw the birds and when they came in to see, 
they found them lying in their blood while the horsemen who had killed them 
were still there. The man of the ansar asked c Amr b. Umayya what they should 
do; c Amr suggested they return to the Messenger of God (SAAS), to give him 
the news. But the ansari could not bring himself to leave the place where 
al-Mundhir b. 'Amr had been killed, and he also did not want to be the one to 
inform the others of the bad news. He therefore fought the enemy until he was 



IMAM ABD AL-FIDA 5 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 99 

killed. 'Amr was taken prisoner, but when he told them he was of Banu Mudar, 
c Amir b. al-Tufayl released him, after cutting off his forelock. It is claimed that 
he let him go because of a pledge his mother had made. 

" ' c Amr then left, travelling on till he reached al-Qarqara, before Qanat; there 
he was met by two men of Banu 'Amir, who made a halt at the shady place where 
he had stopped. The two c Amir men had made a pact of peace and protection 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS), of which c Amr b. Umayya was unaware. 
When the two men dismounted, c Amr asked them who they were and they 
replied that they were of Banu ( Amir. He left them alone until they were asleep 
and then he attacked and killed them, believing that by doing so he was taking 
revenge against their tribe for the attack they had made against the Companions 
of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"'When c Amr b. Umayya reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), however, 
and told him the news, the latter told him, "You have killed two men for whom 
I must pay the bloodwit." He then went on to comment, "This must be the work 
of Abu Bara 3 ; I was reluctant and apprehensive about this." 

"'When news of it reached Abu Bara 5 , he was very upset at how c Amir b. 
al-Tufayl had betrayed him, and at what had befallen the men of the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) because of him and while under his own protection. 

"'Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses about 'Amir's betrayal of Abu 
Bara and to incite the latter's tribe against "Amir, 

"O tribe of Umm al»Banln, does it not distress you, 
fine men of Najd, 

That c Amir has treated Abu Bara' with scorn in 
betraying him? 

And making a mistake is not the same as acting 
deliberately. 

Won't you ask Rabl'a, a man of deeds, 'What things have 
you accomplished after I left you? 

Your father, Abu Bara', is a man of war, while your 
uncle Hakam b. Sa^ is a nobleman.""" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The Umm al-Banin referred to was Abu Baraks mother; 
she was the daughter of c Amr b. c Amir b. Rabl'a b. 'Amir b. Sa'sa'a. 

"Rabija b. c Amir b. Malik attacked c Amir b. al-Tufayl and pierced him in the 
thigh, but not fatally, though he did fall from his horse. 'Amir then said, 'This is 
the work of Abu Bara 5 . If I die, I award my blood to my uncle, and he is not to 
be pursued for it (in revenge). If I live, I will later decide what to do.'" 

Musa b. *Uqba recounted from al-Zuhri in approximately the same words as 
those of Muhammad b. Ishaq. He also stated that the leader of the Muslim party 
was al-Mundhir b. c Amr; he is also said to have been Marthad b. Abu Marthad. 

Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses eulogizing those killed at Bi'r 
Ma'una; at least, that is what Ibn Ishaq stated, may God be pleased with him. 
However, God knows best: 



1 00 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"For those killed at Ma'una weep endless, copious 
tears. 

For the Prophet's cavalry who met their death, (God's) 
fate. 

Annihilation struck them because of men who broke their 
pledge in treachery. 

Alas for Mundhir who passed away, who accepted his 
death with willing stoicism! 

What a lot of fine men of c Amr's people died then!" 



THE EXPEDITION AGAINST BAND AL-NADlR. 

It was about this expedition that God Almighty revealed silrat al-Hashr (LIX). 
In the sahih collection of al-Bukhari there is a quotation from Ibn 'Abbas that 
he used to refer to it as the (surat) Banu al-Nadir. 

Al-Bukhari related from al-Zuhri, who quoted "Urwa as saying, "The 
expedition against Banu al-Nadir came six months after (the battle of) Badr, 
and before (the battle of) Uhud." 

Ibn Abu Hatim, in his Tafsir {Exegesis), traced this from his father, from 
<Abd Allah b. Salih, from al-Layth, from 'Uqayl, back to al-Zuhri .- 

Hanbal b. Ishaq related similarly, from Hilal b. c AIa 5 , from <Abd Allah b. Ja c far 
al-Raqi, from Mutrif b. Mazin al-Yamam, from Mu'ammar, from al-Zuhri; he 
gave the date for the battle of Badr as the 17th of Ramadan, 2 AH. 

He went on, "He attacked Banu al-Nadir, then fought the battle of Uhud, 
in Shawwal, 3 AH. In Shawwal of 4 AH he fought the battle of al-khandaq." 

Al-Bayhaqi stated, "Al-Zuhri used to say that it took place before the battle 
of Uhud." 

He went on, "Others maintained that it occurred thereafter, and after the 
expedition to BPr Ma c una as well." 

I would comment that this was what Ibn Ishaq related, as stated above. He 
referred to it following his account of BPr Ma c una and after the return of c Amr 
b. Umayya and his killing of those two men of Banu "Amir. (This occurred 
because) he was not aware of the pact they had with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), this leading to the Iatter's statement, "You have killed two men for 
whom I must pay the bloodwit." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then went to Banu 
al-Nadir to ask their help in paying for the bloodwit for the two men of Banu 
c Amir who had been killed by ( Amr b. Umayya; this was because of the pact 
of protection he had given the two men. There was, moreover, a pact and a treaty 
between Banu al-Nadir and Banu c Amir. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
went to them, they replied, 'Yes, Abu al-Qasim, we'll help you as you wish.' 

"But then some of them met secretly and concluded that they would never 
have a better opportunity to attack the Messenger of God (SAAS), since he was 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 101 

seated at the wall of one of their houses. They asked for a volunteer to climb 
up on to the house to drop a rock down on him so that they would be rid 
of him. 

" ( Amr b. Jahash b. Ka'b volunteered to do this and climbed up to drop the 
rock as suggested. The Messenger of God (SAAS) had been accompanied by his 
Companions, who included Abu Bakr, 'Umar and c Ali. He received information 
from heaven about what the enemy intended, so he got up and set off back to 
Medina. When his Companions tired of waiting for him, they set about looking 
for him and met a man arriving from Medina. When they asked him about the 
Prophet (SAAS), he replied, 'I saw him entering Medina.' The Companions of 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) then went to him and told him of the treachery 
Banu al-Nadir had planned against him." 

Al-Waqidi stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent forth Muhammad 
b. Maslama to tell them (Banu al-Nadir) to leave his territory and protection. 
But the hypocrites sent messages to them giving them their support, urging 
them to stay and promising them aid. This encouraged Banu al-Nadir, and 
Huyayy b. Akhtab became adamant. They then sent word to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) that they would not leave and warned him against breaking 
the agreements. 

"It was then that the Prophet (SAAS) sent his forces out against them." 

Al-Waqidi continued, "They kept them besieged for 15 days." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered that preparations 
be made to go forth to war against them." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He placed Ibn Umm Maktum in command of Medina; 
this took place in Rabl c al-Awwal." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He journeyed forth and besieged them for six days. It 
was then that the prohibition of wine came down. The enemy set up defences in 
their forts and the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered that their date-palms be 
cut down and burned. They appealed to him, saying, 'Muhammad, you used to 
forbid causing destruction and criticized those who did so. Why are you cutting 
down and burning our date-palms?' " 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "A group of Banu c Awf b. al-Khazraj, including c Abd 
Allah b. Ubayy, Wadl'a, Malik, Suwayd and Da c is, had advised Banu al-Nadir 
as follows: 'If you stay firm and resist, we will not give up on you. If you 
fight, we'll fight along with you, and if you are expelled, we will leave with you.' 
And so Banu al-Nadir waited for their help, but they did nothing. And so God 
cast fear into Banu al-Nadir, and they asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) to 
evacuate them and to spare their blood, allowing them to depart with whatever 
of their belongings they could transport, except for their armour." 

Al- c Awfi quoted Ibn c Abbas as saying, "He gave one camel to each three 
persons, along with a baggage carrier." 

Al-BayhaqI related this, quoting Ya'qub b. Muhammad, from al-Zuhri, from 
Ibrahim b: Ja'far b. Mahmud b. Muhammad b. Maslama, from his father and his 



102 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

grandfather, from Muhammad b. Maslama, to the effect that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had dispatched him to Banu al-Nadir with instructions to delay 
their withdrawal for three days. 

Al-Bayhaqi also related, as did others, that they had debts outstanding to them 
that were due. And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) had said, "Hurry up and 
pay them!" 

There is dispute over the veracity of this. But God knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "They therefore loaded their belongings on their camels 
to the extent they could bear. Some of their men tore down their houses and 
removed the door lintels which they mounted on the backs of their camels and 
took away. Some of them left for Khaybar, while some went to Syria. Among 
their leaders who went to Khaybar were Saflam b. Abu al-Huqayq, Kinana b. 
al-Rabi c b. Abu al-Huqayq, and Huyayy b. Akhtab. When they arrived there the 
people of Khaybar accepted their control. 

" ( Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that it was related to him that they were 
received by women and young men and gifts, with tambourines, flutes and girls 
walking behind them singing boldly and with pride; nothing similar is related 
of any tribe of people in their era. 

"They left their properties for the Messenger of God (SAAS); these consisted 
of their palm trees and their farms. These became his personal property to 
dispose of as he wished. He divided them up among those who first migrated 
with him, to the exclusion of the ansar, except for Sahl b. Hanif and Abu Dujana. 
These both complained of poverty and so he gave to them." 

Some authorities add al-Harith b. al-Simma to these two men. Al-Suhayll 
related this. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Only two men of Banu al-Nadir accepted Islam: Yamin 
b. ^mayr b. Ka^b, the cousin of c Amr b. Jahash, and Abu Sa*d b. Wahb; these 
men retained their properties. 

"A member of Yamln's family related to me that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) asked Yamin, 'Did you see how your cousin treated me, and what he 
intended to do to me?' Yamin therefore gave a fee to a man to kill 'Amr b. Jahash, 
God damn him, and he did so," 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "God revealed siirat al-Hashr in its entirety about them, 
telling in it of the vengeance he took on them, how He empowered His messenger 
over them and what He did to them." 

Ibn Ishaq then detailed this. We have spoken of this at length and in clarity in 
our Tafsir (Exegesis); and to God be all praise. 

God Almighty stated, "All in the heavens and all on earth declare God's glory; 
He is the Almighty and All-wise. He it is who drew forth from their homes for 
the first deportation those people of the scriptures who disbelieved. You did not 
think they would leave; and they thought that their forts would protect them 
from God. But God came at them from where they did not expect, casting fear 



IMAM ABC AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 103 

into them. They demolished their houses with their own hands and with those 
of the believers. Consider this, you who have eyes! Had God not decreed for 
them that they should leave, He would have punished them severely on earth; 
and in the hereafter y they shall have the torture of hellfire. That is because they 
opposed God and His messenger. And for those who oppose God, God shall be 
severe in His punishment. Whatever palm trees you might cut down or leave 
standing over their roots shall be by God's permission, so that He may humiliate 
the evil-doers" (surat al~Hashr; LIX, v. 1-5). 

God Almighty, may He be praised, declared His own glory and related how 
all creatures, high and low, glorify Him. He stated that He is All-Powerful, and 
unassailable, His greatness and majesty insurmountable, and that He is All-Wise 
in all He has created and in all He has planned and purposed. It is from all 
this that stem the empowerment, management and effectiveness (He gave) to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), and to the believers who serve Him, in their victory 
over their enemies the Jews who disobeyed God and His messenger and opposed 
His messenger and His law, all of which was the cause leading to conflict with 
them, as told above, until he with (God's) support encompassed them with 
fear and dread for a month. In addition, he imprisoned them by besieging them 
with his forces and his own noble self for six days. Their terror put them to total 
confusion, so that they ultimately co-operated and made peace to spare their 
blood, removing of their property what their mounts would carry. This was 
conditional upon their not bearing away any of their weapons, a shameful and 
humiliating circumstance. They proceeded, moreover, to demolish their homes, 
by their own hands and by those of the believers. Consider this, you who have 
eyes to see! 

The Almighty then stated that if they had not suffered withdrawal and 
the remove into exile from the protection of the Messenger of God (SAAS), and 
from Medina, then He would have afflicted them with far worse punishment, 
here on earth, namely execution, along with what He had in store for them in the 
after-life, namely the painful punishment He has decreed for them. 

The Almighty went on to refer to the wisdom that was evident in the burning 
of their palm trees and their abandonment of the rest of their property, all of 
this being palatable. He stated, "Whatever palm trees you might cut down ..." 
The word used here, Una, "palm trees", refers to palms giving much fruit. And 
He went on, "... or leave standing over their roots shall be by God's permission." 
(This implies) the following, that all of this was permitted by law and by 
authority, and that they should not object to it but (recognize) that it was all 
for their own good, not some iniquity, as some evil-minded men have said. It 
was, on the contrary, an expression of power, and purposed the disgrace of the 
shameless unbelievers. 

Al-Bukhan and Muslim both related from Qutayba, from al-Layth, from 
Nafi*, from Ibn "Uinar, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) burned and cut 
down the date-palms of Banu al-Nadlr, this being at al-Buwayra, and so God 



104 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

revealed, "Whatever palm trees you might cut down or leave standing over their 
roots shall be by God's permission, and so that He may humiliate the evil-doers" 
{surat al-Hashr, LIX, v.5). 

Al-Bukhari quotes from Juwayriyya b. Asma c , from Nafi c , from Ibn ^Umar, 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) cut down and burned the date-palms of 
Banu al-Nadlr at al-Buwayra and that on that occasion Hassan b. Thabit spoke 
the verses, 

"It left unmoved the nobles of Banti Lu'ayy that there 
was a terrible fire at al-Buwayra." 

In response to this Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith composed the following, 

"May God bless that action and set aflame all its 
(Medina's) parts. 

You will learn which of us it is who gains thereby, and 
which of our lands it will harm." 



Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ka'b b. Malik recited, in reference to the withdrawal of Banu 
al-Nadlr and the killing of Ka<b b. al-Ashraf, (though) God knows best (whether 
the verses are authentic), 

'The rabbis were dishonoured by their treachery; thus 
it is that the vicissitudes of fate revolve. 

This was because they disbelieved in a great Lord whose 
orders are of great import. 

They were brought understanding and knowledge combined, 
and the warner came to them from God. 

A truthful warner, who brought a book and verses that 
were plain and illuminating. 

But they said, "You did not bring truth, and you are 
more worthy of being denied than are we." 

He said, "Not so; I tell the truth. Those who are 
understanding and knowledgeable believe me." 

Those who follow him will be guided to all that is 
true; those who disbelieve in him will be shamed for 
disbelief. 

When they were made to drink of deceit and disbelief, 
and rejection of him turned them from the truth 

God made the Prophet see accurately, and God deals 
wisely and does not deceive. 

He aided him and empowered him over them; He was his 
helper, a fine helper. 

Of them, Ka'b was left there prostrate, and al-Nadlr 
were humbled after his downfall, 

There on his two hands; flashing swords in our hands 
overwhelmed him 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 105 

By God's command, when he sent Ka^'s brother secretly 
to go by night to Ka<b. 

He tricked him, defeating him by guile; and Mahmud is 
brave and trustworthy. 

Those of Banu al-Nadir were in a state of evil; the 
Destroyer ruined them for the crimes they committed. 

That morning when the Messenger of God came slowly 
towards them, he being well aware of them. 

Ghassan, the defenders, were helping him against his 
enemies, as he would aid them. 

He told them, "Peace - or woe to you!" But they 
rejected him; and deceit and corruption allied with 
them. 

So they tasted the outcome of their actions in 
distress, each three of them having one camel. 

They were expelled and headed for Qaynuqa c , abandoning 
their homes and date-palms.'" 

Ibn Ishaq also gives the response made by the Jew Samrnal; we have intentionally 
omitted it. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The following verses of Ibn Luqaym al- c Absi were also 
spoken about Banu al-Nadir. It is also said that they were spoken by Qays b. 
Bahr b. Tarif al-Ashja c I, 

'May my people be a ransom for that man who will never 
die who resettled the Jews in territories not their 
own. 

They siesta in embers of thorn trees, having exchanged 
uplands where young date-palms sprouted. 

If my view about Muhammad is correct, you will see his 
cavalry between al-Salla and Mt. Yaramyam, 

Directing them towards £ Amr b. Buhtha. They are an 
enemy; and an honest tribe is unlike one that is evil. 

On the horses are heroes as they race on to battle, 
waving their straight wooden lances. 

And each of their fine thin-bladed swords inherited 
from the eras of c Ad and Jurhum. 

Who will deliver to Quraysh a message from me? Shall 
anyone succeed them in being so honoured, 

For the fact - know this well - that their brother 

Muhammad, is of the line of those between al-Hajun and 
Zamzam? 

If you serve him in truth, you will prosper and you 
will rise from below to the very heights. 

He is a prophet, with mercy ordained him by God; do not 
ask of him anything undisclosed (by God) or improper. 



106 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

By my life, there was a lesson for you, Quraysh, in 
what happened at Badr, and at the crowded well. 

That morning he came among the Khazrajls, heading for 
you in obedience to God, the Powerful and Much-Honoured. 

Being helped by the holy spirit, striking his enemies, 
a true messenger with knowledge from the All-Merciful, 

A messenger from the All-Merciful reciting His Book, 
not having hesitated. 

I see his authority rising everywhere, in accord with a 
command decreed by God.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on to quote the following verses from c All b. Abu Talib. Ibn 
Hisham, however, stated, "These were spoken by a Muslim man, but I do not 
know anyone who attributes them to 'All, 

'I know, and whoever judges well does know, and I am 
truly sure and do not waver from 

The specific words that came from God, the Kind and the 
Kindest of all, 

In messages that are studied by the believers and in 
which he selected Ahmad, the One Chosen. 

Arid so Ahmad was honoured among us, honoured in status 
and role. 

You who threaten him foolishly, though he has done no 
wrong or violence, 

Are you not fearful of imminent punishment? And those 
who are secure with God are not like those afraid! 

And afraid of falling beneath his swords, felled like 
Ka<b Abu al-Ashraf 

That day when God saw his tyranny as he disobeyed like 
a refractory camel? 

And Gabriel kindly brought down revelation about his 
death to His servant. 

And so the Messenger secretly sent an envoy to him with 
a sharp blade. 

Eyes then began flowing in lament for him, when news of 
Ka<b's death was announced. 

They asked, "Ahmad, leave us awhile, for we have not 
yet recovered from our mourning." 

He did leave them, then said, "Go away, in banishment, 
despite your wishes." 

He despatched al-Nadir into exile, though they had 
enjoyed comfortable homes, 

Away to Adhri'at, riding double on their mounts, any 
emaciated old camels they could find.'" 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHlR 1 07 

We have intentionally also omitted the response to these verses from the Jew 
Sammal. 

God Almighty then went on to refer to the awarding of al-fay> n and to the fact 
that God had judged that the property of Banu al-Nadir should go to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). He therefore gave him possession of it and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) disposed of it as God Almighty wished. 

It is similarly established in both Sahih collections, from the Commander of 
the Believers, 'Umar b. al-Khattab, who said, "The properties of Banu al-Nadir 
were awarded by God to His messenger from whatever the Muslim forces, 
mounted on horse or camel, had not themselves taken." These were specifically 
for the Messenger of God (SAAS). He would set aside his family's expenses for 
a year and then whatever riding beast or weapons remained he would treat as 
military supplies to be used in the cause of God, the Almighty and Glorious. 

The Almighty then made clear His judgement about the al-fay>, to the 
effect that it was for the muhajirin and the ansar as well as for their dependants 
in whatever ways and manner was customary to them. (God stated) "... and for 
those close in kin, orphans, the needy, wayfarers, so that it not be something 
taken in turns by those of you who are wealthy. Whatever the Messenger gives 
you, you should take. And from whatever he forbids you, keep away. And fear 
God; God is severe in punishing" (sural al-Hashr, LIX, v.7). 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Arim and c Affan quoted Mu < tamir as having related 
to them both, 'I heard my father say, "Anas b. Malik related to us, from the 
Prophet (SAAS), that a man might donate to him his palms, or whatever else 
God might wish, up to when Qurayza and al-Nadjr were conquered for him; 
thereafter he began giving it back.'"" 

Mu'tamir's father went on, "My family told me to go to the Prophet (SAAS), 
and to ask him back for all or part of what they had given. But the Prophet 
(SAAS) had given some of the trees to Umm Ayman - or he had done whatever 
it was that God had wanted." 

He went on, "So I asked the Prophet (SAAS), and he gave me some of them. 28 
Then Umm Ayman came up angrily, pulled my clothing up around my neck 
and began saying, 'No! By the One and Only God, I won't give them to you! He 
gave them to me!' - or some such comments. The Prophet (SAAS) then said, 
'But you can have so-and-such.' She responded, ( No! By God!' He repeated, 
'Then I'll give you so-and-such.' 'No! By God!' she replied. 'Then I'll give you 
so-and-such!' he offered until he had given her in full. I think he must have given 
her ten times as much as she had formerly owned." 

27. The word comes from a verb meaning "to restore", ( 'to give back". It refers here to a 
category of property acquired from an enemy who has not engaged in actual warfare but has 
acknowledged Muslim supremacy. 

28. Presumably some of the date-palms referred to above. 



108 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

This is derived in similar terms in various lines of transmission from 
Mu'tamir. 

God Almighty then stated that blame was due the hypocrites who were 
secretly sympathetic towards Banu al-Nadir, as we have mentioned above, 
promising them victory, though none came. In fact they abandoned them 
completely, having misled them about themselves. And so God stated, "(Have 
you not) seen those who were hypocritical, telling their disbelieving brethren 
from among the people of the scriptures, 'If you are driven out, we will go forth 
with you. We will never obey anyone concerning you. If you are attacked, we 
will certainly assist you.' But God bears witness that they are liars. If they were 
expelled, these people would not leave with them. If they were attacked, these 
would not help them. Even if they did help them, they would then turn their 
backs. Then they will not be helped." 

The Almighty condemned them for their cowardice, ignorance and foolishness. 
He then drew an ugly and awful comparison regarding them and Satan, "... who 
says to mankind, 'Disbelieve!' But when they disbelieve, he (Satan) tells them, 'I 
am innocent of (responsibility for) you! I fear God, the Lord of the worlds.' And 
the outcome for them both is to enter hell-fire, to live therein forever. That is the 
reward of the unjust" (surat al-Hashr; LIX, v. 16, 17). 

The Story of c Amr b. Su^da al-QurazL 

He passed by the homes of Banu al-Nadir and found them laid to waste and 
completely abandoned. The fact that Banu al-Nadir had been of higher status 
than (his own) Banu Qurayza stimulated his interest in Islam and he brought 
forth a description of the Messenger of God (S AAS), from the Old Testament. 

Al-Waqidi quoted Ibrahim b. Ja c far as stating that his father said, "When 
Banu al-Nadir left Medina, c Amr b. Su^da arrived and when he viewed their 
houses and saw their destruction, he went into deep thought. When he returned 
to Banu Qurayza, he found them assembled in the temple. He blew on their horn 
and when they had gathered together, al-Zubayr b. Bap asked him, 'Abu Sa'id, 
where were you? You've never been away before this.' 'Amr used never to leave 
the temple and absolutely worshipped Judaism. 

"He replied, 'Today, I have seen things that should be a lesson for us. I have 
seen our brothers' houses empty that before were places of honour, comfort, great 
virtue, prestige and intellectuality. They have abandoned their possessions, given 
them away to others, and gone into humiliating exile. By the Torah, the fact is 
that God never before gave such power to a people with whom He was dissatisfied. 
Previously, he had been in dispute with Ibn al-Ashraf, their respected leader, 
and then had kept him secure in his house. He was also at odds with their chief, 
Ibn Sunayna, and with Banu Qaynuqa*. These people, of the greatest prestige 
among the Jews, he expelled, even though they were possessed of much arms 
and equipment and support. Then he besieged them, taking prisoner any one of 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 109 

them who emerged. He then addressed them, telling them he would leave them 
alone if they moved out of Medina. 'My people, you have seen what you have 
seen! Obey me! Come, let us follow Muhammad! You well know, by God, that 
he is a prophet; Ibn al-Hayyiban Abu c Umayr and Ibn Hirash foretold us of 
him, these being the most learned of Jews. They expected him to come and told 
us to follow him. They came to us from Jerusalem and ordered us to deliver him 
their greetings. They then died in their faith, and we buried them in this piece 
of land of ours.' / 

"His people were silent at this, not one of them speaking. He then repeated 
something similar and warned them of warfare, capture and exile. Al-Zubayr b. 
Bata then said, 'By the Torah, I have read the description of him in Bata's book, 
the Torah that was revealed to Moses, though it is not in the works we instituted.' 

"Ka'b b. Asad then asked him, 'Well, what's preventing you, Abu c Abd 
al-Rahman, from following him?' 'You, Ka'b, are preventing me,' he replied. 
'Why so?' Ka<b asked. 'I have never, I swear by the Torah, come between you 
and him.' 

"Al-Zubayr insisted, 'On the contrary, you are the custodian of our pacts 
and pledges; if you followed him, so would we. If you refused, so will we.' 

"At this c Amr b. Su*da approached Ka'b and referred to discussion between 
them on that. Eventually, c Amr stated, 'I've said all I'm going to about him; I 
would not feel comfortable being his follower.' " 

Al-Bayhaqi related this. 



THE EXPEDITION AGAINST BAND LIHYAN DURING WHICH HE 
PERFORMED, AT <US FAN, THE SALAT AL-KHAWF, THE "PRAYER 
OF FEAR". 

Al-Bayhaqi related this in his Dafflil(The Signs). Ibn Ishaq, so far as I have seen, 
related it through Hisham, from Ziyad, to the effect that it happened in Jumada 
al-Uwla of the year 2 AH, after the battle of al-khandaq, "the ditch", and after 
the expedition against Banu Qurayza. This is similar to the account given by 
al-Bayhaqi. But God knows best. 

The hafiz, al-Bayhaqi stated, "Abu <Abd Allah, the hafiz, related to us, 
quoting Abu al- c Abbas al-Asamm, quoting Ahmad b. c Abd al-Jabbar and others, 
as follows: 'After Khubayb and his companions had been struck down, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth to revenge them by making a surprise 
attack against Banu Libyan. He took the route to Syria to give the impression 
that he was not attacking them, then headed for their territory. But he found 
that they had taken the precaution of moving into defensive positions in the 
mountain heights. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "If we go on down to 
'Usfan, Quraysh will think we're going on to Mecca." And so he proceeded 
on with 200 men and encamped at c Usfan. He then sent on two horsemen to 
Kura' al-Ghamlm; they then left there.'" 



1 1 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Abu c Ayyash al-Zurqi narrated that the Messenger of God (SAAS) performed 
the salat al-kkaaf 29 at c Usfan. 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Abd al-Razzaq related to us, quoting al~Thawri, 
from Mansur, from Mujahid, from Ibn c Ayyash, who said, 'We were with 
the Messenger of God (SAAS), at c Usfan. The unbelievers met us, under the 
command of Khalid b. al-Walld. They were positioned between us and the 
qibla. The Messenger of God (SAAS) led the noon prayer and the enemy told 
themselves, "In the position they were in we could have taken them unawares." 
They then observed, "They have a prayer approaching that is more dear to them 
than their children or themselves." 

"'But between the noon and the early evening prayer Gabriel brought down 
the verse, "When you are among them and lead the prayer for them' (surat 
al-Nisa>'; IV, v. 102). 

" 'Then time for prayer arrived and the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered 
his men to take up their weapons. We lined up in two rows behind him. He 
then performed a rafra, and we all did the same. After that he stood upright and 
we all did the same. He then made the prostration with the line next to him, 
while the others stood guarding them. When these had made their prostrations 
and stood up again, the others prostrated in their place. Then those others 
occupied the lines of the former who exchanged places with them. Thereafter, 
he performed one rukffi and they all did so too, after which he stood up, as 
did all of them. Following that, the next row prostrated while the others 
remained standing guarding them. When they sat, the others did so too, then 
they prostrated. He then delivered the salam greeting to them, after which he left. 

"'The Messenger of God (SAAS) performed the prayer this way twice - once 
at IJsfan and again in the territory of Banu Sulaym.'" 

Ahmad related this from Ghundar, from Shu'ba, from Mansur in similar 
terms. 

Abu Da^ud related it from Sa'id b. Mansur, from Jarir b. c Abd al-Hamld; 
al-Nasa'i related it from al-Fallas, from c Abd aI- c Aziz b. c Abd al-Samad, from 
Muhammad b. al-Muthanna and Bundar, from Ghundar, from Shu'ba, all three 
deriving it from Mansur. 

This chain of authorities is in accord with the criteria of both sahfh collections; 
(yet) neither of them included it. 

However, Muslim related through Abu Khaythama Zuhayr b. Mu'awiya, 
from Abu al-Zubayr, from Jabir, who said, "We went forth on an expedition 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS), against a tribe from Juhaynam. They 
engaged in a fierce battle. When he (the Prophet (SAAS)) led the noon prayer, 
the unbelievers said, 'If we had attacked them (then) we would have decimated 
them!' 

29. A prayer performed in turn by various contingents of Muslim forces who are about to do 
battle with an enemy confronting them; those not praying protect those engaging in prayer against 
the possibility of a surprise attack. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 1 1 1 

"Gabriel then informed the Messenger of God (SAAS) of this and he said, 
'They said, "A prayer is coming for them that is dearer to them than their 
children.'"" The hadith is then recounted in similar words as above. 

Abu Da'Qd al-TayalisI stated, "Hisham related to us, from Abu al-Zubayr, 
from Jabir b. <Abd Allah, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) performed 
the noon prayers among his Companions at Nakhl. The polytheists observed 
this, then said, "Leave them alone; they have a prayer coming after this one that 
is dearer to them than their children." 

'"Gabriel then made a revelation to the Messenger of God (SAAS), informing 
him of this comment. When, therefore, he led the evening prayer he lined up 
his men in two rows with himself standing in front of them and the enemy out 
in front of him. He spoke the words Allaku Akbar\ "God is most Great", and 
all his men said the same. Then they all performed a rak l a. After that those in 
front performed the prostration, while the rest remained standing. When they 
brought their heads up, the others made their prostration. Then that group 
went forward, while the next group stayed back. They all then proclaimed the 
takbir and performed their bows. Thereafter the ones next to him made their 
prostrations while the others stood, and when they raised their heads the others 
prostrated.' " 

Al-Bukharl testified to this in his sahih collection, giving this account of 
Hisham from Abu al-Zubayr, from Jabir. 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Abd al-Samad related to us, from Sa e ld b. < Ubayd 
al-Huna% quoting c Abd Allah b. Shaqiq, quoting Abu Hurayra, that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) made a halt between Dajnan and 'Usfan and that 
the polytheists commented, 'They have a prayer to come that is dearer to them 
than their sons and daughters - the evening prayer, that is. Prepare to have 
everyone attack them all together (then).' 

"But Gabriel came to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and told him to divide 
up his men into two groups; some would perform the prayer while the others 
would stand at the ready behind them. He told them to be careful and to 
have their weapons prepared. The troops would perform a single rak c a each, 
in groups in sequence with the Messenger of God (SAAS), while he would 
perform two." 

Al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa J I related this from an account of c Abd al-Samad, 
Al-Tirmidhi categorized the tradition as hasan sakik, "good and authentic". 

I comment that for Abu Hurayra to have witnessed this, it must have 
happened after Khaybar. Otherwise it would have to be considered of the 
mursalat al-sahaba. m This categorization does not diminish the authority of such 
a hadith in the view of most. But God knows best. 

30. That is, accounts attributed to Companions that, because of possible gaps in the lines of 
transmission or the reputation of the transmitters, do not meet the full criteria oiahadith that can 
be viewed as sakih. 



1 1 2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

In the text of the hadith of Jabir in the works of either Muslim or Abu Da'ud 
al-Tayalisi there is no reference to c Usfan, nor to Khalid b. al-Walld. However, 
it is apparent that they are one and the same. 

The question remains as to whether the expedition to 'Usfan was before or after 
the battle of al-khandaq, "the ditch". Some scholars, including al-Shafi^, claim 
that the salat al-kkawfwas instituted only following that battle, on the basis that 
they deferred holding the prayer that day because of the righting. But if practice 
of the salat al-khawfhad been in force at that time, they would have performed 
it and not postponed it. Some scholars of the military engagements therefore 
maintain that the expedition against Banu Lihyan, during which the salat al-khawf 
was said at ^Usfan, took place after the expedition against Banu Qurayza. 

Al-Waqidl has a line of transmission back to Khalid b. al-Walld, whom 
he quotes as saying, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth to 
al-Hudaybiyya, I met him at c Usfan. I formed (my forces) before him and 
blocked his way. He performed the al~zuhr prayer with his men there in front 
of us. We were about to attack him, but could not make up our minds to do so. 
God then made him aware of what we had been contemplating. And so he said 
the salat al-khawf 'with his Companions at the al- c asr prayers." 

The himra of al-Hudaybiyya took place in DhO al-Qa^da of 6 AH, after the 
battle of al-khandaq and the expedition against Banti Qurayza, as will be related 
hereafter. 

The text of the account of Abu c Ayyash al-Zarqi requires that the verse 
relating to the salat al-khawf "was revealed during this expedition, at the fighting 
at c Usfan. This in turn necessitates that it was the first time he prayed the salat 
al-khawf. But God knows best. 

We will, if God Almighty wills it, relate the manner in which the salat 
al-khawf 'was prayed and the various accounts about it in our work al-Ahkam 
al-Kabir, and it is in God we trust and have confidence. 



THE EXPEDITION TO DHAT AL-RIQA'-. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) stayed in Medina following 
the expedition against Banu al-Nadir for the two months of Rabl c al-Awwal 
and Rabl c al-Thani, and also for part of Jumada. He then sent forces into Najd 
against Banu Muharib and Banu Tha c Iaba of Ghatafan. He placed Abu Dharr in 
command of Medina." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "It is also said that he appointed MJthman b. 'Affan in 
command there." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He then went forth as far as Nakhl, this being on the 
expedition to Dhat al~Riqa c .'"' 



31. The word riqa ( , pi. riqa c , means a piece of land, paper or cloth. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 1 13 

Ibn Hisham commented, "(It is so named) because they patched up their 
banners there. Others say it is so named because there was a tree there known 
as Dhat al-RiqaV' 

Al-Waqidi stated that it was named after a mountain there that had patches 
of red, black and white. 

In the hadith of Abu Musa it is said that it was so named because of the 
rags they tied to their feet on account of the excessive heat. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "There he encountered a force of Ghatafan. The forces came 
close together without engaging in battle, each side being wary of the other; then 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) performed the salat al-khawf prayer." 

For his account here of the salat al-khawf prayer, Ibn Hisham relies upon 
one line of transmission from <Abd al-Warith b. Sa c id al-Tannun, from Yunus 
b. < Ubayd, from al-Hasan, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, and on another from c Abd 
al-Warith, from Ayyub, from Abu al-Zubayr, from Jabir, and on a third from 
c Abd al-Warith, from Ayyub, from NafiS from Ibn c Umar. However, in these 
three lines he makes no reference to either the expedition to Najd or to that to 
Dhat al-Riqa c . Nor did he turn attention to any (particular) rime or place. 

There is, moreover, dispute over whether or not the expedition to Dhat 
al-Riqa c , which was in Najd and against Banu Muharib and Banu Tha'laba b. 
Ghatafan, came before the battle of al-khandaq. 

AI-Bukharl took the position that that took place after the expedition against 
Khaybar. As evidence for that, he refers to Abu Musa al-Ash c ari's presence 
there, as will be shown. His arrival occurred only during the nights of the 
Khaybar campaign, in the company of Ja c far and his men. The same is true of 
Abu Hurayra. He stated, "I prayed the salat al-khawf 'in the presence of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), at the expedition to Najd." 

Evidence that it occurred after the battle of al-khandaq is that Ibn £ Umar 
was first authorized by the Messenger of God (SAAS) to participate in the 
fighting at that battle. It is established of him (Ibn ^Umar) in the sahih collection 
that he stated, "I participated in a military expedition with the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) before that to Najd during which he prayed the salat al-khawf." 

Also there is al-Waqidi's statement, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went 
forth to Dhat al~Riqa c with a force of 400 (it is also said 700) of his Companions 
on Saturday, ten days before the end of al-Muharram, 5 AH." But there is dispute 
over this. 

Moreover, there is no escaping the fact that the salat al-khamf was only 
instituted after the battle of al-khandaq because that battle took place in 
Shawwal of 5 AH, as is widely known (though some date it as in Shawwal of 
4 ah), this being substantiated by the gist of the hadith from Ibn c Umar. 
However, the hadith of Abu Musa and that of Abu Hurayra do not (suggest this). 



1 1 4 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

The Story of Ghawrath b. al-Harith. 

Regarding this expedition, Ibn Ishaq stated, '"Amr b. TJbayd related to 
me, from al-Hasan, from Jabir Ibn c Abd Allah, that a man of Banu Muharib 
named Ghawrath said to his tribe of Ghatafan and Muharib, 'Shall I kill 
Muhammad for you?' 'Yes indeed! And how will you kill him?' Til assassinate 
him,' he replied. 

"So he went to the Messenger of God (SAAS), while he was seated with his 
sword in his lap. Ghawrath asked him, 'Muhammad, could I see that sword of 
yours?' 'Yes.' He took it and began to raise it to strike, but God prevented him. 
He asked, 'Muhammad, don't you fear me?' 'No,' he replied. 'What should I fear 
from you?' 'You're not afraid of me even though I have a sword in my hands?' 
'No; God is protecting me from you.' 

"Ghawrath then returned the sword to him. Thereafter, God, Great and 
Glorious is He, revealed the verse, 'O you who believe, remember God's favour 
to you when a people intended to lay hands on you but He turned their hands 
away from you. Fear God; let believers place their reliance upon God!' " (sural 
al~Ma>ida; V, v. 11). 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Yazld b. Raman related to me, however, that this verse 
was revealed about c Amr b. Jahhash, brother of Banu al-Nadir, and what he 
had intended." 

It is thus that Ibn Ishaq related the story of this Ghawrath, from < Amr b. "Ubayd 
al-Qadarl, the leader of the misled. He, although not deliberately engaging in 
falsehood in his hadith accounts is one of those who should not be quoted as a 
source because of his innovations and support for them. 

This hadith is firmly established in both sahih collections from other sources 
than him, thanks be to God! 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql recounted here a variety of lines of transmission for 
this hadith from a number of places. It is established in both sahih collections 
from a hadith of al-Zuhri, from Sinan b. Abu Sinan, and Abu Salama from Jabir, 
that he accompanied the Messenger of God (SAAS) on the expedition to Najd. 
When the Messenger of God (SAAS) was on the way home, the time for the 
afternoon rest came when they were in a valley with many thorn trees. The force 
divided up as the men sought the shade of the trees. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) stopped in the shade of a tree on which he hung up his sword. 

Jabir said, "And so we slept. Then suddenly, the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
called out to us; we responded and found that there was a bedouin seated near 
him. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'This fellow unsheathed my sword 
while I was asleep. I awoke to find him brandishing it in his hand. He then asked 
me, "Who is there to protect you from me?" I replied, "God." He then sheathed 
the sword and sat down.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) did not punish the 
man for having done this." 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 1 ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 115 

Muslim also related this, from Abu Bakr b. Abu Shayba, from 'Affan, from 
Aban, from Yahya b. Abu Kathir, from Abu Salama, from Jabir, who said, "We 
advanced with the Messenger of God (SAAS), and reached Dhat al-Riqa ( . 
Whenever we came across a shade-giving tree we would reserve it for the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). (We did so now) and one of the polytheists came 
over to him while his sword was hanging on a tree. The man took the sword, 
unsheathed it, then asked the Messenger of God (SAAS), 'Do you fear me?' 
'No,' he replied. 'Who is to protect you from me?' 'God protects me from 
you,' he answered. Then the Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
intimidated the man and he sheathed the sword and hung it up again." 

He went on, "Then the call for prayer was made. He (the Messenger of God 
(SAAS)) prayed two rak'as with one group, and they went aside while he prayed 
two rak l as with the next group. And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) prayed 
four rak c a$, while the rest prayed two." 

Al-Bukharl also derived this report with absolute certainty from Aban. 

Al-Bukharl stated, quoting Musaddad, from Abu <Awana, from Abu Bishr, 
that the name of the man was Ghawrath b. al-Harith 

Al-Bayhaql drew his account through Abu c Awana, from Abu Bishr, from 
Sulayman b. Qays, from Jabir, who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
engaged Muharib and Ghatafan in battle at Nakhl. The enemy detected a 
deficiencey in the Muslim defences, and sent through one of their men, Ghawrath 
b. al-Harith, who went and stood with his sword right over the head of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). Ghawrath asked him, 'Who is there to defend you 
from me?' 'God,' he replied. And the sword fell from the man's grasp. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) picked up the sword and asked him, 'And who 
protects you from me?' 'Be compassionate!' 'Do you testify that there is no god 
but God?' he asked. 'No', Ghawrath replied, 'but I will give you my word that 
I'll not oppose you nor assist any others who do.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) released him, and when Ghawrath returned 
to his men, he commented, 'I come to you from the very best of men!'" 

Al-Bayhaqi then went on to tell of the salat al-khaafand that four raklas were 
performed, two with each group. 

Al-Bayhaqi related the methods of performing the salat al-khamf at Dhat 
al-Riqa c on lines of transmission from Salih b. Khawwat b. Jubayr, from Sahl 
b. Abu Hathtna, along with a hadith of al-Zuhri, from Salim, from his father, 
concerning the salat al-khawf 'in Najd. This is given in my Kitab al-Ahkam. But 
God knows best. 

The Story of the man whose wife was killed on this Expedition. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "My uncle Sadaqa b. Yasar related to me, from 
<UqayI b. Jabir, from Jabir b. e Abd Allah, who said, 'We went forth with the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) on the expedition to Dhat al-Riqa c near Nakhl and 



1 1 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

one of our men killed the wife of a polytheist. When the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) had left to return home, her husband, who had been away, came back. 
When told the news, he swore he would never rest till he had taken blood 
revenge against Muhammad's men. 

*"So he followed the tracks of the Messenger of God (SAAS), who when he 
had made camp had asked, "Who will stand guard for us tonight?" A muhajiri 
and an ansari each volunteered and he told them to take up position at the 
entrance to the mouth of the valley. The two men were { Ammar b. Yasir and 
c Abbad b. Bishr. When they reached the mouth of the valley, the ansari asked the 
muhajiri, "Which part of the watch do you want me to take care of, the first or 
the last?" "You take the first watch," the muhajiri told him and settled down 
to sleep, while the ansari prayed. 

"'When the polytheist arrived and saw the watchman's form, he realized 
that he was on guard and shot an arrow at him which stuck in him. The ansari 
pulled out the arrow, laid it down and stood his guard, standing there in prayer. 
The polytheist then shot again and struck him, but the guard again removed 
it, laid it down and went on praying. A third time the polytheist struck him, and 
once more he withdrew it and put it down, continuing his prayer with a bow 
and a prostration. He then aroused his companion, saying, "Remain seated; I've 
been hit." 

'"At this, his companion arose and when the polytheist saw both, he knew 
that they were on guard against him, and so he fled. 

'"When the muhajiri saw that the ansari was bleeding, he exclaimed, "For 
God's sake, why did you not awaken me when he first struck you?" 

'"The ansari replied, "I was reciting a sura (of the Qur'an) and did not want 
to break it off before I had completed it. When he continued shooting, I finished 
the prostration, then awoke you. I swear by God, that unless it meant losing a 
position the Messenger of God (SAAS) had ordered me to hold, he could have 
killed me before I would have interrupted a recitation before completing it!"'" 

Ibn Ishaq related it thus in reference to the military expeditions. Abu Da°ud 
recounted it from Abu Tawba, from ( Abd Allah b. Mubarak, from Ibn Ishaq. 

Al-Waqidl related the account of the salat al~khawf'm full from c Abd Allah 
al-^Uman, from his brother ^bayd Allah, from al-Qasim b. Muhammad, from 
Salih b. al-Khawwat, from his father, as follows: "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
had attacked some women in their (the enemy's) homes; among the prisoners 
taken was an attractive woman whose husband loved her. He swore an oath that 
he would pursue Muhammad and not return until he had either taken blood 
revenge for her or had rescued her." 

Al-Waqidl then proceeds to recount the incident much as had Muhammad 
b. Ishaq. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "Jabir b. <Abd Allah used to say, 'I was once with the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), when one of his Companions brought in a chick. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) was looking at it when in came the chick's 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA C IL IBN KATHIR 117 

parents (or one of them) and threw themselves down before the man who had 
taken it. I saw that everyone present was amazed at this. Then the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) said, 'So you're surprised that this bird, whose chick you took, 
is bowing to offer itself to gain mercy for its chick? I swear by God, your god is 
more compassionate for you than this bird is for its chick!'" 

The Story of Jabir's camel on this Expedition, 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "Wahb b. Kaysan related to me, from Jabir b. 
c Abd Allah, who said, 'I went forth with the Messenger of God (SAAS), on the 
expedition to Dhat al-Riqa c at Nakhl, riding a feeble camel. When the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) was returning home, I began falling behind my comrades who 
went on ahead. Eventually the Messenger of God (SAAS) came up to me and 
asked, "What's wrong, Jabir?" I replied, "O Messenger of God, this camel of 
mine is slowing me down." "Make it kneel," he told me. I did so and he also 
made his camel kneel. He then said, "Give me that stick in your hand, or cut one 
from a tree." I did so and he took it and prodded my camel with It several times. 
He then said, "Mount up!" I did so. And, I swear by Him who sent him with the 
truth, my weak male camel competed with his female camel! 

"'When I was talking with the Messenger of God (SAAS), he asked me, 
"Would you sell me this camel of yours, Jabir?" "I'll give it to you," I told him. 
"No; just sell it to me." "Make me an offer," I asked. "I'll take it for one 
dirham," he suggested. "No way!" I replied. "Then you would be cheating 
me, Messenger of God!' "Two dirhams then?" he offered. "No," I refused. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) then set about raising the offer until he reached one 
ounce of gold. I asked him, "Would that be agreeable to you?" "Yes," he replied. 
"Then he's yours!" I told him. And he accepted it. 

"'He then asked, "Jabir, are you married yet?" "Yes, I am," I told him. "To a 
woman previously married, or to a virgin?" "Previously married," I replied. "Why 
not a young girl with whom you could have much fun?" he asked. "My father", 
I explained to him, "was killed at the battle of Uhud and left seven daughters. So 
I married a mature woman to look after them and bring them up well." "You 
did well, let's hope to God," he commented. "And when we get to Sirar we'll 
slaughter a camel and stay there the day with her and she'll hear about us and 
dust off her cushions for us." I replied, "I swear, Messenger of God, we don't 
have cushions." "You will have," he said. "When we get there behave wisely." 

"'When we reached Sirar, the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered camels be 
slaughtered; this was done. We remained there that day and in the evening the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went home, as did we all. I reported to my wife what 
he had said and she advised me to hurry up and do as I was told. 

"'Next morning I led my camel up to the door of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), then sat down close to him in the mosque. Eventually the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) came outside and, when he saw the camel, he asked to whom it 



1 1 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

belonged. He was told that Jabir had brought it, and he asked where I was. 
Then they called for me to go to him, and he said, "Cousin, lead your camel 
away; it is yours." Then he called Bilal over and told him, "Take Jabir away and 
give him an ounce of gold." So I went off with Bilal and he did give me an ounce, 
and a little more as well. And, by God, my financial affairs improved constantly 
thereafter until they suffered recently in what befell us."' 

By this he was referring to the yawm al-harra. %1 The author of the sahih 
collection derived this story from a hadith of HJbayd Allah b. ^mar al-IJmari, 
from Wahb b. Kaysan, from Jabir, in similar terms. 

Al-Suhayli stated, "There is in this hadith reference to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) telling Jabir b. { Abd Allah that God had given new life to his father, had 
spoken to him and told him, 'Ask a request of me!' That was because he died a 
martyr. For Almighty God had said, 'God buys from believers their souls and their 
property.' He awarded them more in His statement, 'To those who do good there 
shall come good, and more too.' He then combined for them compensation and 
indemnity and restored to them their souls that He had purchased from them. 
He stated, 'Do not consider dead those who are killed in God's cause; no, they 
are alive, with their Lord, and will be provided for' (surat Al~ t Imran; III, v. 169). 

"For human beings, the soul has the same role as a riding animal", as ^mar 
b. c Abd al-<Aziz said. He stated, "That is why the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
purchased from Jabir his camel, his riding beast, that is, first giving him the 
value of it and then returning it to him, with an additional amount as well." 

He commented, "And in this there is fulfilment of what he related to him 
about his father." 

Al-Suhayll's observation here is a strange and imaginative departure. But God 
Almighty, praised be He, knows best. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql gave an explanation relating to this hadith about this 
expedition in his work Dafflil al-Nubuwwa. He has a section entitled "Chapter: 
On the blessings and signs of God evident in this expedition of his relating to the 
camel of Jabir b. c Abd Allah, God be pleased with him." 

This hadith has a number of lines of transmission from Jabir and many 
differences in phraseology. Also there is great variety in the value placed on the 
camel and the manner in which the sale provisions were made. The recording 
and interpretation of this is most appropriate in the section on sale in the works 
on law. But God knows best. This story is given pertaining to this expedition 
and elsewhere as well, as will follow. That this happened many times is unlikely; 
but God knows best. 



ANOTHER EXPEDITION TO BADR. 

This is the Badr engagement of which promise was made at Uhud, as is 
told above. 

32. The reference is to the rebellion in Medina during the reign of Yazld, the son of Mu<awiya. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA* ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 119 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned to Medina 
from the Dhat al-Riqa £ expedition, he remained there for the rest of Jumada 
al-Ola, Jumada al-Akhira and Rajab. In Sha'ban he left for Badr and his 
appointment with AbQ Sufyan." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He placed c Abd Allah b. c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul in 
charge of Medina." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth to Badr and 
remained there for eight days waiting for Abu Sufyan. 

"Abu Sufyan set out with his Meccan force and encamped at Majanna, hear 
al-Zahran. Some authorities state that he reached t Usfan then decided to go 
back. He announced, 'Men of Quraysh, it is right for you to make such an 
expedition only in a fruitful year when you can pasture on trees and drink milk; 
this year it is barren. I am going back; you do the same.' 

"So they all returned. The Meccans referred to them as the sawitf 3 army, 
saying to them, 'So you only went forth to drink sawiq then!' 

"Makhshi b. c Amr al-Damrl, who had made a contract with the Prophet 
(SAAS) concerning Banu Damra at the Waddan expedition, now arrived and 
said, 'Muhammad, have you come here to this well to meet with Quraysh?' He 
replied, 'Yes, brother from Banu Damra; but if you want, we'll release you from 
your agreement with us and we'll battle you until God decides between us.' 'No, 
by God, Muhammad, there's no need for that!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then returned to Medina without incident." 

Ibn Ishaq quoted c Abd Allah b. Rawaha as having delivered the following 
verses as they waited for Abu Sufyan to arrive on his return that year to Badr. 
However, Ibn Hisham stated that this poetry was delivered to him by Abu Zayd 
who attributed it to Ka'b b. Malik: 

"We agreed on Badr with Abu Sufyan, but found him 
untruthful and untrustworthy in his appointment. 

I swear that had you and we met you would have returned 
home humiliated and with your supporters gone. 

There we previously left limbs of c Utba and of his son, 
along with c Amr Abu Jahl whom we left prostrate. 

You disobeyed the Messenger of God! How vile your 
faith and your evil and misguided conduct! 

If you were to belabour me, I'd still say, 'My wealth 
and family be a ransom for the Messenger of God!' 

We obey him, treating none other of us as his equal; 
he is a flame guiding us in the dark of night!" 

Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses on that occasion: 

"Forget the streams of Syria! For intervening are 
swords (blood-stained) like the mouths of pregnant 
camels fed on (thorny) arak trees. 
33. A beverage, perhaps alcoholic, made of parched wheat or barley. 



120 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

In the hands of men who have gone out to their Lord, to 
His true helpers, and to the hands of angels. 

If they pass on to the lowlands from the sandy valleys, 
tell them that is not the route. 

We remained eight days at the shallow well with a fully 
equipped force and many camels tethered 

And round-bellied horses, sleek sided stallions high of 
withers, 

The yearly arfaj plants being uprooted by tall, 
speeding mounts. 

If we should meet Farat b. H.ayyan in our journeyings, 
he will be as good as dead. 

If, after him, Qays b. Imr al-Qays, the pallor of 
death will blacken his face even more! 

Deliver to Abu Sufyan this message from me; for you 
are the best of those beggar-like men!" 

Ibn Ishaq then quoted Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith b. c Abd al-Muttalib, who later 
accepted Islam, as answering him with the following verses: 

"Hassan, you son of a woman who eats offal, I swear we 
devour great deserts like that! 

When we go forth, young gazelles can't escape between 
us, though seeking defence in full-speed flight. 

When we leave after a halt you'd think it had been 
trashed by crowds at a fair! 

You remained at the shallow well, wanting us to come, 
but leaving us in the date groves near by. 

Our horses and mounts trample the vegetation underfoot, 
levelling all into the sand. 

We halted for three days between Sal c and F5ri c , our 
horses fine and our camels swift-paced. 

You would have thought that attacking people near their 
homes would be as easy as buying white lead with cash! 

Don't vaunt your fine horses when you talk to them as 
one who protects them and holds them back. 

You express joy in them, but others should, such as the 
knights with descent from Fihr b. Malik. 

You are not engaged in a migration, though you speak 
thereof, nor do you respect the prohibitions of its 
faith." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "We have omitted from this certain verses since they did 
not match in rhyme." 

Musa b. 'Uqba recounted from al-Zuhrl and Ibn Lahl'k, from Abu al-Aswad, 
from 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr, that when the Messenger of God (SAAS) called for 
men to go forth to meet Abu Sufyan, the hypocrites sent agents out to dissuade 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 121 

them. But God kept His supporters from harm, and the Muslims did proceed 
in the company of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Badr. They took various 
goods with them for sale, saying they would fight if they met Abu Sufyan, and 
that otherwise they would sell these at the Badr fair. 

His account then proceeds as did the text of Ibn Ishaq to describe Abu 
Sufyan's movement to Majanna, his return from there, the negotiation with 
al-Damri, the offer made by the Prophet (SAAS), and the repudiation which 
he refused. 

Al-Waqidl stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) headed for it (Badr) 
with a force of 1,500 of his Companions. He placed c Abd Allah b. Rawaha in 
command of Medina. His departure for there occurred early in Dhu al-Qa^a." 
He means of 4 AH. 

But Ibn Ishaq's statement is what is authentic, namely that it took place 
in Sha'ban of that year, 4 AH, and it is in agreement with the statement of 
Musa b. ^qba that it occurred in Sha^ban, though he gives the year as 3 AH. 
This date is incorrect. For the agreement to meet at Badr had been made at 
Uhud, which took place in Shawwal of 3 AH, as is told above. But God knows 
best. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "They remained at Badr for the duration of the fair that 
lasted eight days. Then they returned home, having profited with two dirhams 
for each one invested." 

Others say that they returned just as God, Almighty and Glorious is He, had 
said, "And so they returned with favour from God and His grace. No harm 
came to them. For they followed the pleasure of God, and God is He of mighty 
grace" (sural Al- c Imran; III, v. 173). 

Section: A Review of the events that occurred in 4 AH. 

Ibn Jarir stated, "In Jumada al-Uwla of that year c Abd Allah, son of ^Uthman 
b. c Affan, God be pleased with him, by Ruqayya, daughter of the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), died. He was six years of age. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
performed the funeral prayer over him, and his father, <r Uthman b. c Affan, God 
be pleased with him, accompanied him down into the grave." 

I would add that the same year Abu Salama c Abd Allah b. c Abd al-Asad 
b. Hilal b. c Abd Allah b. ^mar b. Makhzum al-Qurashi al-Makhzumi died; 
his mother was Barra, daughter of c Abd al-Muttalib, aunt of the Messenger of 
God (SAAS). He was the foster-brother of the Messenger of God (SAAS), since 
both were suckled by Thuwayba, freed-woman of Abu Lahab. 

Abu Salama, Abu HJbayda, < Uthman b. 'Affan and al-Arqam b. Abu al Arqam 
had accepted Islam long before, on the same day. 

Abu Salama and his wife had emigrated to Abyssinia and then returned to 
Mecca. They had had children in Abyssinia. He then migrated from Mecca 
to Medina and Umm Salama followed him there, as is related above. He was 



122 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

present at the battles of Badr and Uhud and died following wounds he suffered 
at Uhud. May God be pleased with him and give him pleasure. There is one 
hadith, on the subject of istirjaP* that is attributed to him. This will be related 
shordy in the text dealing with the marriage of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
to Umm Salama. 

Ibn Jarlr stated, "Some days before the end of Sha'ban that year, al-Husayn 
b. *All was born to Fatima, daughter of the Messenger of God (SAAS); may God 
be pleased with them all. 

"In Ramadan of that year the Messenger of God (SAAS) married Zaynab, 
daughter of Khuzayma b. al-Harith b. c Abd Allah b. e Amr b. £ Abd Manaf b. Hilal 
b. c Amir b. Sa'sa'a, a woman of Hilal." 

Abu ^mar b. <Abd al~Barr quoted c Ali b. c Abd al- c Aziz al-Jurjani as saying 
that she was the sister of MaymBna, daughter of al-Harith. Then he (Abu ^mar) 
stated that he had not been told this by anyone else. 

She was known as Umm al-Masakln, "mother of the poor", for the many 
donations she made to them and for her kindness and compassion towards 
them. The Prophet (SAAS) gave her a dowry of 12 and a half ounces of gold 
and consummated his marriage with her in Ramadan. She had previously been 
married to al-Tufayl b. al-Harith who had divorced her. 

Abu 'Umar b. c Abd al-Barr quoted c Ali b. { Abd al-<Aziz al-Jurjani as saying, 
"Thereafter his brother c Ubayda b. al-Harith b. al-Muttahb b. c Abd Manaf had 
married her." 

Ibn al-Athir stated, in his work Al-Qhaba, "It is said she was also the wife of 
c Abd Allah b. Jahsh who was killed at Uhud while still married to her." 

Abu Vmar stated, "There is no dispute over the fact that she died during 
the lifetime of the Messenger of God (SAAS). It is said that she remained living 
with him only for two or three months before she died; may God be pleased 
with her." 

Al-Waqidi stated, "In Shawwal of that year the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
married Umm Salama, daughter of Abo Urnayya." 

I comment that previously she had been the wife of her children's father, Abu 
Salama b. <Abd al-Asad. He had been present at Uhud, as is told above. He was 
wounded at that batde and nursed his wounds for a month until he was restored. 
He then went forth on a sariya, a raid, at which he earned considerable booty. 
He then stayed home for seventeen days, but his wounds erupted again and he 
died, three days before the end of Jumada al-Uwla of that year. 

When in Shawwal it was permissible for her to remarry, the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) became engaged to her, sending 'Umar b. al-Khattab to her 
several rimes to arrange this. She told him that she was a very jealous woman and 

34. A supplication, derived from the Qur'an, that one invokes during times of calamity. 



IMA M ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA <IL IBN KATHIR 1 23 

that she had children; that is, that she had children who would divert her 
attention from him and for whose food and support she had to work. He 
responded, "Regarding the children, God and His messenger will care for them; 
that is, you won't be responsible for their expenses. As for the jealousy, I will 
pray to God and He will remove it." 

She then gave her consent in the matter, finally telling ^Umar, "Off you go; 
arrange the marriage of the Prophet (SAAS)." By this she meant that she had 
agreed and had given her permission. 

Some scholars imagine her to have said this to her son ( Umar b. Abu Salama 
who was too young at that time to be involved with contracts. I have combined 
all that is correct into one specific account, all praise and trust being in God. 
(There is also an account that states) that the person who arranged her marriage 
with him was her oldest son Salama b. Abu Salama. This account is widely 
known because his father was her cousin and the son is eligible to be the guardian 
of his mother because he happens to be her means of subsistence and not because 
of filiation. 

According to al-Shafffi alone, the mere fact of being a son does not entitle him 
to act for his mother in a marriage contract. The three (other chief authorities 
on Islamic law) Abfl Hanifa, Malik (b. Anas) and Ahmad (b. Hanbal), God 
have mercy upon them all, disagree with him. This issue will, if God wills it, 
be examined further elsewhere in the Kitab al~Nikah {Chapter on Marriage) in 
my work al-Ahkam al-Kabir. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Yunus related to us, quoting al-Layth - that is, Ibn 
Sa<d - from Yazld b. c Abd Allah b. Usama b. al-Had, from <Amr b. Abu 
<Amr, from al-Muttalib, from Umm Salama, who said, 'Abu Salama came to 
me one day from the Messenger of God (SAAS), and said, "I heard something 
from the Messenger of God (SAAS) that greatly pleased me. He said, 'Any 
Muslim who suffers a loss should repeat, "To God we belong, and to Him 
we return," and then should pray, "O God, compensate me for my loss and 
give me better in exchange."'" She went on, 'And I learned this from him 
by heart. 

'"When Abu Salama died, I spoke the words, "To God we belong, and to 
Him we return", then said, "O God, compensate me for my loss and give me 
better in exchange." But then I realized what I had said and wondered how I 
could ever have better than Abu Salama. 

'"When my Hdda, my waiting period, was over, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) asked to come to see me while I was tanning a hide I had. I washed my 
hands clean of the tanning solution, asked him to come in and set out a leather 
cushion stuffed with palm fronds for him to sit upon. He sat down on it and 
made me an offer of marriage. When he had finished speaking, I replied, "O 
Messenger of God! It's not fit for me to question your wanting this, but I'm an 
extremely jealous woman and I'm afraid you may see in me something for which 



1 24 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

God will punish me. And I'm a woman who is getting on in years, and I have 
children." 

'"He replied, "Regarding the jealousy, God will remove it from you. As for 
your reference to your age, I am afflicted just as you are. Regarding your children, 
they shall be as my own." So I consented to the Messenger of God (SAAS). And 
God did give me better than Abu Salama - the Messenger of God (SAAS)!'" 

Al-Tirmidhl and al-Nasa 5 ! related this from a kadith of Hammad b. Salama, 
from Thabit, from ^mar b. Abu Salama, from his mother Umm Salama, from 
Abu Salama. Al-Tirmidhl classified it as a tradition that was both hasan gharib, 
"good" but "unilateral". It is also given in an account of al-Nasa°I from Thabit, 
from Ibn 'Umar b. Abu Salama, from his father. Ibn Maja related it from Abu 
Bakr b. Abu Shayba, from Yazid b. Harun, from c Abd al-Malik b. Qadama 
al-Jumahl, from his father, from HJmar b. Abu Salama. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then left from Badr 
- where the appointment had been - to return to Medina. He remained there 
until the month of Dhu al-Hijja was over; the polytheists had charge of the 
pilgrimage that year, 4 AH." 

Al-Waqidl stated, "That year, 4 AH, the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered 
Zayd b. Thabit to learn Hebrew script." 

I would comment that it is established in the sahih collection that he said, 
"I learned it in 15 days." But God knows best. 



THE YEAR 5 AH. THE EXPEDITION TO DO MAT AL-JANDAL IN 
RABF AL-AWWAL, 5 AH. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then made an expedition to 
Dumat al-Jandal." 

Ibn Hisham observed that it took place in Rabl c al-Awwal that year and that 
he appointed Siba c b. c Urfuta al-Ghifarl in charge of Medina. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He then, however, returned to Medina before reaching 
it, and without engaging in battle. He remained in Medina for the remainder of 
that year." 

That is the statement made by Ibn Ishaq. 

Muhammad b. HJmar al- Waqidl quoted lines of authority back to various 
early scholars who stated that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had wanted to 
proceed to the closest areas in Syria but was told that this would alarm Caesar. 
He was also informed that there was a large force at Dumat al-Jandal who 
maltreated passers-by and that it also had a substantial market; these people 
wanted him to approach the town. 

He therefore organized his men and left with a force of 1,000 Muslims. They 
travelled by night, keeping under cover by day. He had a guide with him from 
Banu 'Udhra named Madhkur, who was a skilled tracker. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA ( IL IBN KATHIR 125 

When they neared Dumat al-Jandal, his guide directed him to the pasturing 
cattle belonging to Banu Tamlm. He went on and attacked their sheep and 
goats; some people were killed, while others fled in disarray. When news of this 
reached people in Dumat al-Jandal, those there dispersed. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) proceeded to encamp on their square, finding no one there. He 
remained there for several days, sending out raiding parties. They returned, with 
Muhammad b. Salama having taken one of the enemy prisoner. He was brought 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS), who asked him about his comrades. The 
man replied that they had fled the previous day. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) then explained Islam to him, and he became a Muslim. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) then went back to Medina. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth to Dumat 
al-Jandal in Rabl c al-Akhir, 5 AH. And the same year Umm Sa<d b. < Ubada died 
while her son was away on this expedition with the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Abu ^sa al-Tirmidhl stated in his compendium, "Muhammad b. Bashshar 
related to us, quoting Yahya b. Sa c id, from Sa c id b. Abu 'Uroba, from Qatada, 
from Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, that Umm Say died while the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was absent. When he returned he prayed for her, a month having 
passed." 

This mursal haditk is excellent and requires the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
to have been absent on this expedition for a month or more, according to what 
al-Waqidi, God be pleased with him, reported. 



THE BATTLE OF AL-KHANDAQ, 'THE DITCH', ALSO KNOWN AS THE 
GHAZWAT AL-AHZAB, 'THE BATTLE OF THE CLANS'. 

It was about this event that the main part of sllrat al-Ahzab (XXXIII) was 
revealed. In it the Almighty stated, "O you who believe! Remember God's favour 
to you when enemy forces attacked you and We sent a wind against them, along 
with forces you could not see. God sees well what you are doing. (Remember) 
when they came at you from above and from below, and when your sight was 
blinded and hearts arose into your throats and you were confused in your 
thoughts about God. There believers were put to the test, and they were 
violently shaken. (Remember) when the hypocrites and those with disease in 
their hearts said, 'It was all misleading, what God and His messenger promised 
us!' And (remember) when one group of them said, 'O people of Yathrib, there 
is no place for you here, so go back!' And a group of them did ask the Prophet, 
saying, 'Our homes lie exposed.' Yet they were not exposed; all they wanted was 
to flee. And if they (the enemy) had gained entry from outside and had asked 
them to revolt, they would have done so without great hesitation. Whereas they 
had earlier promised God that they would not retreat; and promises made to 
God are answerable. Say: 'It will not avail you to flee, whether from death 
or from battle; in such case you will be allowed enjoyment only briefly.' Say: 



126 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'Who is it can protect you from God if He wishes to do you harm, or be merciful 
to you?' They shall not find anyone to help or aid them apart from God. God 
knows which of you hinder and which of you say to your brethren, 'Come over 
to us!' Yet they rarely go to battle. They are ungenerous to you; and when fear 
arrives you see them looking at you with their eyes rolling, like those who faint 
at death. But when the fear is gone, they pursue you with sharp tongues, greedy 
for the good (booty). Those people did not believe and so God nullified their 
action; and this was an easy thing for God. They consider that the clans have 
not gone; and if the clans should again come, they would wish to be among the 
bedouin asking for news of you; yet if they were among you, they would only do 
in battle a little. In the Messenger of God there has been for you an excellent 
model for those who have hope in God and in the last Day and who make 
frequent mention of God. When the believers saw the clans, they said, 'This is 
what God and His messenger promised us. God and His messenger spoke the 
truth.' And this only increased their faith and submission. The believers include 
some men who are true to what they promised God. Of them are those who have 
already fulfilled their vows, while some of them still wait but have not changed 
at all. God will reward those who are true in their sincerity; and He will punish 
the hypocrites, if He wishes, or will turn aside from them. God is very forgiving 
and merciful. God turned back those who disbelieved; by their rage they gained 
nothing good. Yet God gave satisfaction to the believers in the fighting; and God 
is strong and powerful. He brought down from their forts those of the People 
of the Book who allied with them, and cast terror into their hearts; some you 
killed, others you took captive. He made you heir to their land, properties and 
belongings, as well as to lands you have not yet trod. And God is capable of all 
things" (sumt al-Afizab; XXXIII, v.9-13). 

We have discussed all these noble verses in the Tafsir (Exegesis); and to God 
belong all praise and credit. Let us refer here to matters relating to the account 
— if God wills it and in Him we place reliance and trust. 

The batde of al-khandaq took place in Shawwal, 5 AH, according to Ibn Ishaq, 
HJrwa b. al-Zubayr, Qatada and al-Bayhaqi, along with various scholars of the 
earlier and later periods. 

Musa b. ^qba quoted al-Zuhri as stating, "Then the wacf-at al-ahzab, the 
'batde of the clans', took place, in Shawwal of 4 AH." 

Imam Malik b. Anas stated the same, according to a quotation attributed to 
him by Ahmad b. Hanbal, quoting Musa b. Da'ud. 

Al-Bayhaqi stated, "There is in fact no dispute between them in this; this is 
because their intent was that this occurred after the passage of four years, but 
before the completion of five." 

There is no doubt that when the polytheists left Uhud they made an 
arrangement to meet the Muslims at Badr in the following year. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) therefore went forth with his force in Sha'ban of 4 AH, as told 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 127 

above, while Abu Sufyan returned home with the Quraysh because of the 
drought that year. They would not have been likely to have gone to Medina 
two months later. And so it may be concluded that the battle of al-khandaq 
took place in 5 AH. But God knows best. Al-Zuhri declared that the battle of 
al-khandaq took place two years following that of Uhud. And there is no dispute 
over the fact that Uhud occurred in Shawwal of 3 AH, except in so far as some 
maintain that the dating system began with Muharram of the second year 
after the hegira, and they do not count the remaining months of that year, from 
Rabi* al-Awwal to its end, as al-Bayhaqi related it. Ya<qub b. Sufyan al-Fasawi 
maintained this, declaring that Badr took place in the first year, Uhud in the 
second, the "appointment at Badr" in Shaman of year 3 AH, and al-khandaq in 
Shawwal of year 4 AH. 

This view is contrary to that of the majority, for it is widely accepted that the 
Commander of the Believers, 'Umar b. al-Khattab, established the beginning 
of the era from Muharram of the year of the hegira, though Malik states it to 
have been from Rabi c al-Awwal of that year. There are therefore the three views. 
And God knows best. 

What seems true is what the majority hold - that Uhud was in Shawwal of 
3 AH, while al-khandaq took place in Shawwal of 5 AH. But God knows best. 

(Also revelant) is the hadtth accepted in both sahih collections derived 
through <Ubayd Allah from Nafr\ who quoted Ibn <Umar as saying, "I was 
presented to the Messenger of God (SAAS) at the Battle of Uhud when I was 
14, but he would not give me permission to fight. I was also presented to him at 
al-khandaq when I was 15, and he then gave me permission." Some scholars, 
including al-Bayhaqi, respond to this by saying that he was presented at Uhud 
at the beginning of his 14th year, and that al-Ahzab (al-khandaq) was at the end 
of his 15th year. 

I would comment that it is probable that what he meant was that when he 
was presented at al-Ahzab he had already completed 15 years, an age at which 
youths are permitted to engage in battle; and so nothing more is to be added. 

Therefore, when Nafi c related this hadtth to ^mar b. c Abd aI- c Azlz, he said, 
"This constitutes the difference between a youth and a man." He then wrote 
this to the provinces and the mass of scholars thereafter relied upon it. But God 
knows best. 

The following test of the account is derived from Ibn Ishaq and others. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The battle of al-khandaq took place, in Shawwal, 5 AH. 

"Yazld b. Ruman related to me, from <Urwa and another trustworthy source, 
from <Ubayd Allah 35 b. Ka<b b. Malik and Muhammad b. Ka<b aI~Qurazi and 
al-Zuhri, and c Asim b. *Umar b. Qatada, and c Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr and other 
scholars, some of these giving information not included by others, as follows. 
What happened at al-khandaq was that a group of Jews had divided up the clans 

35. Ibn Hisham gives his name as c Abd Allah b. Ka<b. 



128 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

against the Messenger of God (SAAS). These included Sallam b. Abu al-Huqayq 
al-Nadri, Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri, Kinana b. a!-Rabl c b. Abu al-Huqayq, 
Hawdha b. Qays al-Wa 5 ill, and Abu 'Ammar al-Wa 5 ill, along with groups from 
Banti al-Nadlr and Banu Wa'il. These went to Quraysh in Mecca and suggested 
they engage in warfare against the Messenger of God (SAAS). They told them 
that they would participate until they had completely destroyed him. Quraysh 
responded as follows, 'O Jews, you are the first people to receive scripture and 
knowledge in those matters in which we and Muhammad differ. Which religion 
is better, ours or his?' 

"They replied, 'Your religion is definitely better than his; you are closer the 
truth than he is.' 

"It is of these people that God revealed the words, 'Have you not seen those 
who were brought a share of the Book? They believe in idols and evil powers, and 
say to those who disbelieve, "These are more rightly guided than those who 
believe!" Those are they whom God has cursed; and whomever God curses shall 
find none to help him' (surat al-Nisa*; IV, v. 5 1-2). 

"This pleased Quraysh when they said it to them and they gladly accepted the 
suggestion of going to war against the Messenger of God (SAAS). They then 
assembled and made preparations. 

"That group of Jews then visited Ghatafan of Qays c Aylan and invited them 
to battle the Messenger of God (SAAS), telling them that they would themselves 
participate along with them, and that Quraysh would do so too. They therefore 
joined up with them. 

"Quraysh then set out, their leader being Abu Sufyan. Ghatafan, under their 
leader c Uyayna b. Hisn b. Hudhayfa b. Badr, also went forth with Banu Fazara, 
as did al-Harith b. c Awf b. Abu Haritha al-Murri with Banu Murra, along with 
Mis^r b. Rukhayla b. Nuwayra b. Taiif b. Suhma b. c Abd Allah b. Hilal b. 
Khalawa b. Ashja 1 b. Rayth b. Ghatafan, along with those of his people from 
Ashja c who followed him. 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) heard of all this and what they had 
agreed, he dug the ditch around Medina." 

Ibn Hisham commented that it is said that it was Salman who suggested this. 

Al-Tabari and al-Suhayli stated that the first man to dig ditches was Manushehr 
b. Ayraj b. Afridun and that that happened in the time of Moses, peace be upon 
him. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) worked on this himself, 
inspiring the Muslims to seek reward in heaven, and they worked alongside him. 
Some hypocrites held back, complaining of their weakness. Some of these left 
surreptitiously and without his permission or knowledge. 

"It was on this subject that Almighty God revealed, 'Believers are only those 
who believe in God and in His messenger. And if engaged with him in a joint 
effort they do not leave without seeking his permission. Those who do seek your 
permission are those who believe in God and in His messenger. If they do ask 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA <IL IBN KATHIR 1 29 

your permission to attend to some affair, then permit it to whichever of them 
you wish. And ask God to forgive them; God is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. 
Do not consider the Messenger's appealing to you while among you the same 
as you making appeals to one another. God is well aware which of you steal away 
in hiding. Let those beware who oppose his orders, lest trouble or painful 
punishment afflict them. No indeed! All in the heavens and all on earth belong 
to God; He well knows what you do. On the day on which they will be returned 
to Him, He will inform them what it was they did. God is aware of all things!" 
(sBrat al-Nur; XXIV, v.62-4). 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "The Muslims continued working on the trench until 
they had finished it. They made a rhyme about one of the Muslims, a man named 
Ju%yl whom the Messenger of God (SAAS) referred to as c Amr. They would 
repeat, 

'To 'Amr from Ju'ayl he changed his name; and soon 
"the weak are strong", he'll proclaim.' 

"When they pronounced the name ' c Amr', so would the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) do so along with them. When they said the word 'proclaim', so would 
he." 

Al-Bukharl stated, " c Abd Allah b. Muhammad related to us, quoting Mu'awiya 
b. { Amr, quoting Abu Ishaq, from Humayd, who said, 'I heard Anas say, "The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went out to the trench and found that the muhajirin 
and the ansar were busy digging. It was a very cold morning and they had no 
slaves to do that work for them. When he saw what they were suffering from the 
hard labour and their hunger, he said, 'O God, their life is, indeed, that of the 
after-life; forgive the ansar and the muhajirin.* They responded in unison to this 
by chanting, 

'We are those who gave allegiance to Muhammad, for the 
jihad, the holy work, forever, for as long as we live.""" 

In both sahih collections there is similar wording given, on the authority of 
Mu J awiya b. Qurra, from Anas. 

Muslim related this from a kadith of Hammad b. Salama, from Thabit and 
Humayd, from Anas, in similar words. 

Al-Btikhan stated, "Abu Ma £ mar related to us, quoting c Abd al-Warith, 
from c Abd al-'AzIz, from Anas, who said, 'The muhajirin and the ansar set to 
work digging the trench around Medina carrying away the dirt on their backs, 
chanting, 

"We are those who gave allegiance to Muhammad, for 
Islam, for ever, for as long as we live." 

" 'In response, the Messenger of God (SAAS) would say, "O God, there is no 
good except that of the hereafter, so bless the ansar and the muhajirin.'''' 



1 30 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'"They would bring a handful of barley and some ill-smelling fat as a meal 
for them, hungry as they were; it stuck in their throats and smelled bad.'" 

Al-Bukhari also stated, "Qutayba b. Sa c id related to us, quoting c Abd aMAziz 
b. Abu Hazim, from Sahl b. Sa c d, who said, 'We were with the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) in the trench while men were digging it. We would carry the dirt 
away on our shoulders. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "O God, there is 
no life but that of the hereafter; forgive the muhajirfn and the ansar.""' 1 

Muslim also related this, from al-Qa c nabi, from c Abd al- c Aziz. 

Al-Bukhari also stated, "Muslim b. Ibrahim related to us, quoting Shu'ba, 
from Abu Ishaq, from al-Bara J b. c Azib, who said, 'The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was carrying away the dirt (before) the battle of al~khandaq till dust 
covered his stomach' (or 'his stomach became dust-covered'), 'and reciting, 

"O God, without God we would not have been well-guided, 
nor would we have been charitable; nor would we have 
prayed. 

So do send down tranquillity upon us and make us stand 
firm when we meet the foe. 

They have wronged us; if they want trouble, we'll 
resist them!" 

"'And he raised his voice at the words "resist them".'" 

Muslim related this from a hadith of Shu'ba. 

Al-Bukhari went on to state that" Ahmad b. c Uthman related to him, quoting 
Shurayh b. Maslama, quoting Ibrahim b. Yusuf, from his father, from Abu 
Ishaq, from al-Bara 5 , who related the following hadith: "At the (time of) the 
battle of al-Ahzab, 'the clans', and the trench of the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
I saw him carrying the dirt from the trench so much that it hid the skin of his 
stomach from me; and he had much body hair. I heard him reciting verses of 
c Abd Allah b. Rawaha as he moved the dirt, 

'O God, without you we would not have been well-guided; 
nor would we have been charitable, nor would we have 
prayed. 

So do send tranquillity upon us and make us stand firm 
when we meet the foe. 

They have wronged us; if they want trouble, we'll 
resist them!' 

"He would stretch out the final syllables." 

Al-Bayhaqi stated in Dala*il(The Signs), " ( AIl b. Ahmad b. c Abdan informed us, 
quoting Ahmad b. 'Ubayd al-Saffar, quoting Ismail b. al-Fadl al-Bajali, quoting 
Ibrahim b. Yusuf al-Balkhi, quoting al-Musayyab b. Shurayk, from Ziyad b. AbO 
Ziyad, from Abu 'Uthman, from Salman, who said that the Messenger of God 
(§AAS) chanted as he dug the trench, 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 131 

'In God's name, and through Him we were guided, and if 
we had worshipped any but Him we would have suffered, 
What a fine Lord! What a fine religion!'" 

This hadtth, from this line, is gharib, "unique". 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Sulayman related to us, quoting Shu'ba, from Mu'awiya 
b. Qurra, from Anas, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) spoke the following 
while they were digging the trench, 

'O God, there is no good except that of the hereafter, 
so bless the ansar and the mukajirin. , " 

Both authors of the sahih collections derived this from a hadith of Ghundar 
from Shu'ba. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Various anecdotes to which the Muslims were witness, have 
reached me relating to the digging of the trench that provide example of the 
truth of the Messenger of God (SAAS), and that confirm his Prophethood. One 
such is that Jabir b. c Abd Allah would relate how they had great difficulty 
digging one patch of hard ground, and so they complained about this to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). He called for a pitcher of water, spat in it and spoke 
over it some prayer that God wished him to say. He then sprinkled the water on 
the hard ground. Those present swear that it crumbled so much that it could 
not withstand an axe or a shovel." 

Ibn Ishaq related this thus, without a full chain of authorities, from Jabir b. 
c Abd Allah, God be pleased with him. 

Al-Bukhari, God bless him, stated, "Khallad b. Yahya related to us, quoting 
c Abd al-Wahid b. Ayman, from his father, who said, 'I once went to Jabir and he 
told me, "At the Battle of the trench, when we were digging, a patch of extremely 
hard ground was in our way. The Prophet (SAAS) said, when he was told of 
this, 'I'll come on down.' Then he arose- and there was a stone tied across 
his stomach - we had not tasted food for three days. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) took the spade and struck the ground with it and it turned into soft sand. 

"'"So I said, 'Please, Messenger of God, allow me to go home now.' Then I 
told my wife, 'I saw the Prophet (SAAS) to be in an intolerable state. Do you 
have something (to eat)?' She replied that she had some barley and a goat. So I 
slaughtered the goat, and she ground up the barley. Then we put the meat into 
a pot. I went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) after the dough had risen and 
when the pot was on the stone trivet and almost cooked, and said, 'I have a little 
food; do come along, Messenger of God, with one or two of the men.' 'How 
much is there?' he asked, and I told him. He said, 'There's a great deal of 
good food. Let your wife not take off the pot nor remove the bread from the 
oven until I arrive.' Then he told the mukajirin and the ansar to get up, and they 
did so." 



132 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"'When the man went in to his wife, he told her, "There is a problem! 
The Prophet is coming with muhajirtn, ansar and others." She asked, "Did he 
question you?" "Yes," I replied. 

"'Then He told them all to come in, but not to push and shove, and he began 
to break up the bread and place meat on it. He covered over the pot and the 
oven when he took from them. He kept on serving the Food to his Companions 
and taking it out. He did not stop breaking the bread and spooning the meat until 
they were satisfied; and some still remained. He then told her, "Eat yourself, and 
give to all; people are very hungry.'"" 

Al-Bukhari alone gives this haditk. 

Imam Ahmad related it from Waki<, from c Abd al- Wahid b. Ayman, from his 
father Ayman the Abyssinian, the freed-man of Banti Makhzum, from Jabir in 
an account that combines reference to the hard ground with the stone being 
bound to the stomach of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

Al-Bayhaqi related it in DaWil (The Signs), from al-Hakim, from al-Asamm, 
from Ahmad b. c Abd al-Jabbar, from Yunus b. Bukayr, from <Abd al-Wahid 
b. Ayman, from his father, from Jabir, in an account combining reference to 
the hard ground and the food. That narrative is longer and more extensive 
than that of al-Bukhari. In it he stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
had learned of the quantity of the food, he told all the Muslims, 'Go along and 
see Jabir.' They began to do so. (Jabir) said, 'God only knows how embarrassed 
I felt! I told myself that he was coming with (many) people for a measure of 
barley and a she-kid! So I went in to my wife and told her, "You're going to be 
put to shame; the Messenger of God (SAAS) is coming to you with everyone 
from the trench!" She replied, "Did he ask you how much food you have?" 
"Yes." I replied. "Well then", she commented, "God and His messenger know 
best!" 

"'And so she relieved my great concern. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
came in, he said to her, "You serve, but leave the meat to me." And then he 
set about serving the stew and dishing out the meat, giving it to everyone in turn. 
He kept on doing so until all were satisfied, yet the oven and pot were still more 
full than before! 

" 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, "Now you eat and serve more." 
And she went on eating and serving all day.'" 

Abu Bakr b. Abu Shayba related this similarly, from c Abd al-Rahman b. 
Muhammad al-Muharibi, from c Abd al-Wahid b. Ayman, from his father, from 
Jabir 's account, and also at greater length. Finally, he stated, "He told me they 
were 800 in number. Or else the figure he stated was 300." 

According to the account from Yunus b. Bukayr, from Hisham b. Sa<d, from 
Abu al-Zubayr, from Jabir, given only at length about the food, he stated that 
they were 300 in number. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHlR 133 

Al-Bukhari then stated, " c Arnr b. c All related to me, quoting Abu c Asim, quoting 
Hanzala b. Aba Sufyan, from Abu al-Zubayr, as follows, 'Ibn Mina 5 related to us 
that he heard Jabir b. c Abd Allah say, "When the trench was dug, I could see 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) was suffering severe malnutrition, so I asked 
my wife what livestock she had, saying, 'Do you have anything? I have noticed 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) is suffering serious malnutrition.' She 
produced a bag containing a measure of barley, and we also did have a she-kid. I 
slaughtered it, while she ground the barley; we both finished at the same time. 
Then I cut it up and put it in the cooking pot and turned to go back to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), when she said, 'Don't disgrace me by having the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) come and bring others who are with him!' I went 
up to him and, speaking confidentially, I told him, 'Messenger of God, I've 
slaughtered a she-kid of ours and ground up a measure of barley we had. Please 
come, and bring another with you.' 

'""At this, the Messenger of God (SAAS) called out, 'Hey, everyone at the 
trench! Jabir has made a feast for us! Let's go to it!' He then told me, 'Don't take 
down the pot or bake the bread before I get there.' 

" ' "So I went home and eventually the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived, 
leading his men. I went to my wife and she berated me, but I told her, 'I did 
just as you asked.' She then brought out the dough to us, and he spat on it 
and blessed it. After that he went over to our cooking pot and spat and blessed 
again. He told my wife, 'Call over a bakeress to bake along with you and keep 
on ladling out from the pot, but don't take it off the fire.' A thousand people 
were present. And, I swear by God, they ate, then stopped and went away and 
our pot was still bubbling as before, and our dough was still there too, as it 
had been."'" 

Muslim related this from Hajjaj b. al-Sha'ir, from Abu c Asim in much the 
same words. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq related this kadith, but his account has some unique aspects 
to it. He stated, "Sa'id b. Mlna° related to me, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, who 
said, 'We worked with the Messenger of God (SAAS) in the trench. I had a 
young goat, not fully fattened. So I said how nice it would be to serve it for the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). I told my wife to grind up some barley for us, and 
she made some bread with it. I slaughtered the goat and we roasted it for the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"'When evening came and the Messenger of God (SAAS) was about to 
leave the trench (we were working in it during the day, then going home to our 
families each night) I told him, "We've cooked a young goat we had and baked 
some barley bread. I do hope you will accompany me home." I had only wanted 
him to come with me, but when I told him this, the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
accepted, but then he had someone call out, "Everyone is to go with the 



134 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Messenger of God (SAAS), to the home of Jabir b. c Abd Allah!" At this I said, 
"O dear! We belong to God, and to Him do we return!" 

"'Then along came the Messenger of God (SAAS), accompanied by his men. 
He sat down and we brought out the food which he blessed, invoking the name 
of Almighty God over it. He then ate and the others set about it too. When one 
group was finished another came until all those working at the ditch had done.'" 

It is strange that Imam Ahmad only gave this hadith through Sa'id b. Mina>, 
from Ya'qab b. Ibrahim b. Sa^, from his father, from Ibn Ishaq, from Jabir, in 
exactly similar form. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "Sa'ld b. Mina 5 related to me that it was related 
to him that a daughter of Bashir b. Sa<d, sister of al-Nu c man b. Bashir said, 'My 
mother, < Amra, daughter of Rawaha, invited me over and gave me a handful of 
dates, putting it in my dress, saying, "Daughter, take this to your father and your 
uncle c Abd Allah b. Rawaha for their lunch." So I passed by the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), while I was looking for my father and my uncle. He (the Prophet 
(SAAS)) said to me, "Come over here, girl! What are you carrying?" I replied, 
"This, Messenger of God, is some dates my mother sent me to deliver for lunch 
to my father Bashir b. Sa<d and my uncle c Abd Allah b. Rawaha." He told me, 
"Bring it over here." So I poured out the dates into his hands and they did not 
fill them. 

"'He then asked for a cloth and it was laid out for him. He piled up the dates 
on it and they towered above it. He then told one of his men there to shout out 
to those working on the trench to come and have lunch. The men all gathered 
around and began eating from it. But it grew in quantity and when they went off 
again, it was spilling over the sides of the cloth.'" 

Ibn Ishaq related it thus; there is a break in the line of transmission. The hafiz, 
al-Bayhaqi related it thus through him and without addition. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "It was related to me that Salman the Persian said, 'I was 
digging in the trench and one rock was too tough for me. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was nearby, and when he saw me striking it and how difficult was all 
the trouble I was having, he came down, took the pickaxe from my hands and 
struck with it. A flash glowed from beneath the pickaxe. He then struck with it 
again and again it glowed beneath it. He struck it a third time and again it 
glowed. I said, "By my father and mother, Messenger of God! What is it I see 
glowing beneath your pickaxe when you strike with it?" He replied, "Did you see 
that, Salman?" "Yes, I did," I replied. He explained, "The first glow was God 
opening up the gates to Yemen for me. The second was God opening up the 
gates of Syria and the maghrib, the west. The third was God opening up by it the 
gates of the East for me.""' 

Al-Bayhaqi stated, "This is what Ibn Ishaq related that Musa b. <Uqba 
recounted in his work on the military expeditions; Abu al-Aswad recounted it 
from ^rwa." 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 135 

Al-Bayhaql went on to relate a hadith through Muhammad b. Yunus 
al-Kadlmi, a controversial source. However, Ibn Jarlr related it in his history 
from Muhammad b. Bashshar and from Bandar, both giving a line of authorities 
from Muhammad b. Khalid b. c Athma, from Kathlr b. c Abd Allah b. c Amr b. 
c Awf al-Muzni, from his father, from his grandfather. He recounts a hadith which 
tells how the Messenger of God (SAAS) divided up work on the trench in such a 
way that every group often men were to dig for forty arms' lengths. The account 
also says that the muhajirin and the ansar quarrelled about Salman and that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) therefore stated, "Salman is one of us - one of the 
ahlal-bayt, 'a member (honorary) of the household of the Prophet (SAAS).'" 

c Amr b. c Awf stated, "I, Salman, Hudhayfa, al-Nu c man b. Muqarrin and six 
of the ansar were working on forty arms' lengths of the trench. We dug on until 
we reached al-Nada, where we came across a huge, white rock. It broke our 
metal tools and gave us great difficulty. So Salman went to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) who was then in a Turkish pavilion, and told him of it. He came 
and took the pickaxe from Salman and struck the rock so hard it split. From it 
there came a flash of light so strong as to illuminate all the way between the two 
lava fields - (at both ends) of Medina, that is. It was like a great lantern on a very 
dark night. The Messenger of God (SAAS) invoked God's greatness, saying 
Allahu Akbar, 'God is Most Great', as at a victory, and the Muslims did so as 
well. He then struck it again and the same thing happened, a third time with the 
same result. Salman and the Muslims asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
what the light meant. He replied, 'From the first, the castles of al-Hlra and cities 
of Chosroe were lit up to be seen like the fangs of dogs. Gabriel announced to me 
that my nation would be victorious over them. From the second, the red castles 
of Byzantium were illuminated, as though they were the fangs of dogs; Gabriel 
announced to me that my nation would be victorious over them. From the third, 
the castles of San<a were lit up like the fangs of dogs; Gabriel announced to me 
that my nation would be victorious over them. So be joyful at this news!' The 
Muslims were delighted, and said, 'Praise be to God! A true omen!' 

"When the enemy clans appeared for battle, the believers told one another 
that that was what God and His messenger had promised them and was true, and 
so their faith and determination were reinforced. The hypocrites said, 'He tells 
you he can see from Yathrib to the castles of al-Hlra and the cities of Chosroe, 
and that they will be rendered up to you, yet here you are digging the trench and 
can't even come out into the open!' 

"And so it was that about them God revealed, '(Remember) when the 
hypocrites and those with sickness in their hearts say, "What God and His 
messenger promise us is mere fancy!"' "(surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v. 12). 

This hadith is unilateral. 

The hafiz Abu al-Qasim al-Tabranl stated, "Harun b. Malul related to us, 
quoting Abu c Abd al-Rahman, quoting f Abd al-Rahman b. Ziyad, from c Abd 



1 3 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Allah b. Yazid, from <Abd Allah b. ( Amr, who said, 'When the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) ordered a trench be dug around Medina and the work was 
underway, some men told the Messenger of God (SAAS) that they had come 
across a rock they could not dig up. He then went there, with us accompanying 
him, and when he reached the site, he took the pickaxe, struck a hard blow 
with it and spoke the words, Allahu Akbar\ "God is Most Great!" Then came 
a crashing sound the like of which I never heard before and he said, "Persia 
has been conquered!" He then struck again, and again invoked God's greatness. 
Again came a crashing sound the like of which I had never heard, and he said, 
"Byzantium has been conquered!" He then struck and invoked once more and 
again I heard a crashing sound the like of which I had never heard, and he said, 
"God has delivered Himyar as (our) allies and comrades!'"" 

This too is unique from this line of transmission. There is weakness in c Abd 
al-Rahman b. Ziyad b. An < am al-Ifriqi as a source. But God knows best. 

Al-Tabrani also stated, " c Abd Allah b. Ahmad b. Hanbal related to us, Sa^Id 
b. Muhammad al-Jurmi related to me, Abu Numayla related to us, quoting 
Nu'aym b. Sa'id al-Gharrl, that 'Ikrima quoted Ibn c Abbas as saying, 'When the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) dug the trench, his Companions had tied stones to 
their stomachs they were so hungry. When he saw this, he said, "Can't you find 
someone who could give us a meal?" A man replied, "Yes." The Prophet (SAAS) 
then said, "Since you didn't say no, then lead us to him." So off they went to 
the man's house, but he was doing his share of work in the ditch. His wife sent 
a message to him to come home because the Messenger of God (SAAS) had 
come to visit them. The man hurried home expressing his concern. He did have 
a goat with a kid, and the man sprang at the goat. But the Prophet (SAAS) 
said, "No; there's the kid behind her. Slaughter the kid." The wife prepared 
some ground wheat she had and made it into dough and baked it. The pot was 
prepared and she crumbled the bread into the stew in her wooden bowl that 
served ten and offered it to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his Companions. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) placed a finger in it, invoked God's name and 
asked Him to bless it, then told them to eat. They did so until they were satisfied. 
Yet all they had eaten was one-third; two-thirds of it remained. He then told the 
ten men with him to go and bring back a like number. They left and the next ten 
arrived and ate till they were satisfied. He then arose and said a prayer for the 
mistress of the house, invoking God's name over her and her family. They then 
returned to the trench. He asked them to accompany him to Salman who had a 
rock in his way for which he had insufficient strength. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) said, "Let me be the first to strike it." He said God's name over it, 
struck it and one-third of it split away. He then said, "God is most great! It's the 
castles of Syria, by the Lord of the ka^baV He hit it again, and another section 
came away. He said, Allahu AhbaA "God is most Great! It's the castles of Syria, 
by the Lord of the ka^bal" He then hit it again and another section came away. 



IMAM ABD AL-FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 137 

He said, Allahu Akbarl "It's the castles of Persia, by the Lord of the ka c ba\" 
Thereupon the hypocrites commented, "So we dig a trench for ourselves while 
he promises us the castles of Persia and Byzantium!"'" 

The kafiz al-Bayhaqi stated further, " c All b. Ahmad b. c Abdan informed us, 
quoting Ahmad b. c Ubayd al-Saffar, that Muhammad b. Ghalib b. Harb related 
to us, quoting Hawdha, that c Awf related to us, from Maymun b. Ustadh al-Zuhrl, 
and al-Bara' b. <Azib al-Ansarl related to us, as follows, 'When the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had ordered us to dig the ditch, a large, tough rock was in our way 
but the pickaxes made no impression on it. The problem was brought to the 
attention of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and when he saw it, he took the 
pickaxe and spoke God's name. Then he struck it hard and a third of it broke off. 
He then exclaimed, ''Allahu Akbar\ I have been given the keys to Syria! I swear 
by God I can see its red castles, by God's grace!" He then struck it a second blow 
and cut off another third. Again he exclaimed, "I have been given the keys to 
Persia! I swear by God, I can see the castles of the white cities!" He then struck 
a third time, speaking God's name and broke the rest of the rock. He exclaimed, 
"Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys to Yemen! I swear by God, I can see 
the gates of San^l from where I am now!"'" 

This hadith is also unique, one related only by this Maymun b. Ustadh. He 
was of Basra, and related material from al-Bara 3 and c Abd Allah b. c Amr, and 
from him Hamid al-Tawll, al-Jurayrl and c Awf al-A c rabl. Abu Hatim stated, on 
the authority of Ishaq b. Mansur and Ibn Mu'ln, that he was a thiqa, "a reliable 
source". c All b. al-Madlni stated, "Yahya b. Sa ( id al-Qattan would not relate 
traditions from him." 

Al-Nasa>l stated, "<Tsa b. Yunus related to us, quoting Damra, from Abu Zar<a 
al-Saybam, from Abu Sakina, a man from Bahrayn, from one of the Companions 
of the Prophet (SAAS), who said, 'When the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
ordered the digging of the trench, a large rock got in the way of their work. So 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) went and took the pickaxe and placed his cloak 
down in the direction of the trench. Then he said the words, "The word of your 
Lord will be fulfilled in truth and justice. Nothing can alter His words. He it is 
who hears and knows" (sural al-An c am; VI, v.l 15). At this a third of the rock split 
off. Salman al-Farisi was standing watching. At the blow struck by the Messenger 
of God ($AAS), there had been a flash of light. Then he hit it a second time and 
repeated, "The word of your Lord will be fulfilled in truth and justice. Nothing 
can alter His words. He it is who hears and knows." Another third broke off, and 
a light again flashed that Salman saw. He then struck a third time, saying, "The 
word of your Lord will be fulfilled in truth and justice. Nothing can alter His 
words. He it is who hears and knows." At that the remaining third split up. 

'"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then left, picked up his cloak and sat down. 
Salman asked him, "Messenger of God, I noticed that each blow you struck 
was accompanied by a flash of light." The Messenger of God (SAAS) responded, 



1 3 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"So, Salman, you saw that?" "Yes, I did, I swear by Him who sent you with the 
truth, Messenger of God." The Messenger of God (SAAS) went on, "When I 
struck the first blow the cities of Chosroe and their surroundings, along with 
many other towns were raised up before me so that I saw them with my own 
eyes." One of his Companions present there then asked, "Messenger of God, 
please pray to God to grant us victory, give us their progeny as booty and to let 
us destroy their lands with our own hands." And he did speak that prayer. 

"'The Messenger of God (SAAS) went on, "Then I struck the second blow 
and Caesar's cities and their surroundings were raised before me so that I saw 
them with my own eyes." Those present said, "Please, Messenger of God, pray 
to God to grant us victory, to give us their progeny as booty and to let us destroy 
their lands with our own hands." And he did so pray. 

"'The Messenger of God (SAAS) went on, "When I struck the third blow, 
the cities of Abyssinia were raised before me, along with the villages there about, 
so that I saw them with my own eyes." Then he said, "Allow Abyssinia what they 
allowed you, and leave the Turks undisturbed for as long as they so leave you.'"" 

Al-Nasa'l related it thus at length, whereas Abu Da 5 ud quoted from it the 
words, "Allow Abyssinia what they allowed you, and leave the Turks undisturbed 
for as long as they so leave you." His line of transmission was from Isa b. 
Muhammad al-Ramll, from Damra b. Rabi'a, from Abu Zur'a Yahya b. Abu 
( Amr al-Saybam. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "A trustworthy source related to me from Abu Hurayra 
that when these territories were conquered in the eras of IJmar and of ^Uthman 
and thereafter, he would say, 'You should conquer what seems appropriate to 
you; for, I swear by Him who holds Abu Hurayra's soul, you have not conquered 
any town, and you never will right on up to Judgement Day, the keys to which 
were not given beforehand to Muhammad (SAAS).'" 

This line of transmission for this hadith is broken; but it is given in complete 
form from another line, thanks be to God. For Imam Ahmad stated, "Hajjaj 
related to us, quoting Layth, that c Uqayl b. Khalid related to him, from 
Ibn Shihab, from Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, that Abu Hurayra said, 'I heard the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) say, "I was provided for my mission with words that 
united and I was made victorious through awe. And while I slept I was brought 
the keys of all the treasuries on earth and they were placed in my hand."'" 

Al-Bukhari related this in a hadith unique to himself from Yahya b. Bukayr 
and Sa c d b. c Aftr, both of them quoting al-Layth. According to him, Abu Hurayra 
said, "... and the Messenger of God (SAAS) went on to say, '... and you are 
advancing to them.'" 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Yazld related to us, quoting Muhammad b. 'Amr, from 
Abti Salama, from Abu Hurayra, who quoted the Messenger of God (SAAS) as 
saying, 'I was made victorious through awe and was provided with words that 
united. The earth was made for me a mosque and a purification; and while I was 



IMAM ABD AL-FIDA 1 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 1 39 

asleep, I was brought the keys to the treasuries of the world, and they piled up 
in my hand.'" 

This chain of transmission is considered strong and excellent according to the 
criteria of Muslim, (yet) the chief authorities (on the traditions) did not include 
it. In both sahih collections are the words (of the Prophet (SAAS)), "And when 
Caesar expires there will be no other Caesar after him; when Chosroe expires 
there will be no Chosroe after him. And by Him in whose hand is my soul, the 
treasuries of both these shall be used in God's cause." 

In the authentic hadith it is stated, "God gathered up for me the earth, all 
its parte to the east and to the west; all of that He gathered up for me shall be 
the domain of my people." 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had completed the 
trench, Quraysh advanced at the confluence of the streams from Ruma, between 
al-Jurf and Zaghaba. They were accompanied by 10,000 of their Abyssinian 
mercenaries and their allies of Banu Kinana and people from Tihama. Ghatafan 
advanced as well, along with their allies from Najd. They came to a halt at 
Dhanab Naqama, over by the side of Mt. Uhud. 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) and the Muslims, 3,000 strong, came forth 
until they had Mt. Sal c behind them. There he encamped, with the trench 
between his forces and the enemy. The women and children were taken above 
into the forts." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He placed Ibn Umm Maktum in command of 
Medina." 

I would comment that this makes reference to the Almighty's words, "(And 
remember) when they came at you from above you and from below you, and 
when eyes turned dim and hearts rose into throats, and you were having doubts 
about God" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v. 10). 

Al-Bukharl stated, " c Uthman b. Abu Shayba related to us, quoting c Ubayd, 
from Hisham b. HJrwa, from his father, from 'A'isha, who said, 'The words, 
"when they came at you from above you and from below you" refer to the battle 
of al-khandaq.'" 

Musa b. <Uqba stated, "When al-Ahzab, the clans, positioned themselves 
around Medina, Banu Qurayza locked their fortresses against them." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri went to see Ka°b b. Asad 
al-Qurazl, who was their designated contractor and trustee. When Ka^ heard of 
his coming he locked the gate of his fortress against Huyayy. When the latter 
asked permission to enter, Ka<b refused to open up for him. Huyayy called up to 
him, 'Ka'b, open up for me, damn you!' 'Damn you, Huyayy,' he replied. 
'You're an evil man! I've made a pact with Muhammad and I'm not going 



140 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

to break my agreement with him. I've never found him to be anything but 
trustworthy and truthful.' 

"Huyayy insisted, 'Damn you, open up so I can talk to you!' 'I will not,' Kz'b 
replied. Huyayy then said, 'I swear, the only reason you're locking me out is that 
you're scared at losing yourjaskiska, your cornbread, of having me eat it with you!' 

"This so embarrassed Ka^ that he did open up. Then Huyayy told him, 'Ka'b, 
I bring you fame forever, and a huge mass.' 'And what is that?' he asked. 'I bring 
you Quraysh with their chieftains and nobles whom I have left encamped at 
the confluence of the streams at Ruma, along with Ghatafan, with their chiefs 
and nobles whom I have positioned at Dhanb Naqma, near Uhud. They have 
made a treaty that they will not leave until we completely destroy Muhammad 
and those with him.' 

"Ka'b responded, 'What you bring me, I swear by God, is shame forever and 
a cloud that has lost its water; it thunders and there is lightning, but there is 
nothing in it. Damn you, Huyayy, leave me to maintain my pact with him; I have 
never found Muhammad to be anything but trustworthy and honest.' 

" c Amr b. Sa^ al-Qurazl spoke too, and did so well, according to the account 
given by Musa b. 'Uqba. He reminded them of the pact with the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) and of the treaty made by Ka^ and them to aid him. He said, 
'If you won't actually help him, then just leave him to his enemy.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Huyayy continued badgering Ka'b to the extreme until 
he gave way in agreeing to break his pact with the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
and fighting him alongside the ahzab, the clans. This was on the understanding 
that Huyayy would guarantee him that if Quraysh and Ghatafan were to 
withdraw without destroying Muhammad that he would join Ka'b in his fort 
and they would share the same fate. 

"And so Ka^ b. Asad abrogated and dissolved the pact he had with the 
Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Musa b. 'Uqba stated, "Ka'b b. Asad and Banu Qurayza required of Huyayy 
b. Akhtab that he take from Quraysh and Ghatafan hostages who would remain 
in custody so that no harm would come to themselves if his enemies were forced 
to retreat after failing to destroy Muhammad. The hostages were to number 
90 of their leading men, and Huyayy agreed to this. Thereupon Ka'b b. Asad 
and Qurayza did break their pact and tore up the document on which it was 
recorded; the tribes Banu Sa c na, Asad, Usayd and Tha c laba, however, went forth 
to join the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "When news of this reached the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
and the Muslims, he sent out Sa^ b. Mu'adh, he being at that time the 
leader of al-Aws, along with Sa^ b. c Ubada, leader of Khazraj, accompanied 
by c Abd Allah b. Rawaha and Khawat b. Jubayr, telling them, 'Go to those 
people and determine whether what we have heard is true, then inform me by 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 141 

some unintelligible remark I will understand but that will not weaken the resolve 
of the Muslims. If they are keeping to their pact, then you can report this openly 
to our men.' The emissaries then left and reached Ka'b and his men." 

Musa b. *Uqba went on, "And so they went with them into their fortress and 
called upon them to make friends and to renew the pact. However, the Qurayza 
men replied, 'What now? When he has broken our wing and deported them' 
- meaning Banu al-Nadlr. They criticized the Messenger of God (SAAS), and 
Sa c d b. TJbada began reviling them. This made them angry, so Sa<d b. Mu'adh 
told him, 'I swear, we did not come here for this! Our issue with them is too 
serious to settle with bad language.' 

"Say b. Mu'adh then spoke to them as follows, 'You know of the relationship 
between us, Banu Qurayza, and I'm afraid you might have happen to you the 
same as befell Banu al-Nadir, or even worse.' But they replied, 'You must have 
eaten your father's penis!' Sa c d b. Mu<adh responded, 'It would have been much 
more appropriate and much better if you had responded differently.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "They criticized the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 
'Who is this "Messenger of God"? We have no pact with Muhammad.' At this 
Sa c d b. Mu'adh, who was an excitable man, reviled them and they insulted 
him. Sa'd b. t Ubada told him, 'Don't insult them any more; our issue with them 
is too serious for name-calling.' 

"Thereupon both Sa^s and those with them returned to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), and, after greeting him, said, ''Udl and al-Qara!' By this they were 
referring to their treachery towards those who had gone to al-Raji c , Khubayb 
and his companions. 

"At this, the Messenger of God (SAAS) announced, 'Allahu Akbar! Rejoice, 
Muslims!'" 

Musa b. "Uqba stated, "Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) covered himself 
in his cloak, after receiving the news of Banu Qurayza, and went to lie down. He 
was absent a long time; and his men had become extremely concerned and 
fearful when they saw him lie down, for they realized no good news had come 
from Banu Qurayza. But eventually he raised his head and said, 'Rejoice at God's 
victory and for His help!' 

"Next morning the two opposing sides closed and they exchanged fire with 
arrows and stones. Sa c id b. al-Musayyad said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
spoke the words, 'O God, I beseech You to fulfil Your pact and promise! O God, 
if it pleases You, You will (no longer) be worshipped!'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Thereupon the anxiety and fear increased. Their enemy 
came at them from above and below, so that the Muslims were very confused. 
Dissension arose, to the point where Mu'attib b, Qushayr, a brother of Banu 
c Amr b. c Awf, commented, 'Muhammad used to promise us that we would eat 
the treasures of Chosroe and Caesar, yet now we don't feel safe going to the 



1 42 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

toilet.' Similarly, Aws b. Qayzl said, while in the presence of others of his 
people, 'O Messenger of God, our homes are open to the enemy. Give us leave 
to return to our homes; they are outside Medina.' 

"It is these persons and those like them who are referred to in the words of the 
Almighty, '(Remember) when the hypocrites and those with disease in their 
hearts said, "it was all misleading, what God and His messenger promised us!" 
And (remember) when one group of them said, "O people of Yathrib, there is 
no place for you here, so go back!" And a group of them did ask the Prophet 
(SAAS), saying, "Our homes are undefended!" Yet they were not exposed; all 
they wanted was to flee.'" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v. 12, 13). 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) remained in his forward 
position with the polytheists besieging him there for some 20 days, almost 
a month, but there was no actual warfare between them, apart from some 
discharge of arrows. 

"It has been related to me by 'Asim b. c Umar b. Qatada, and from another 
source I do not doubt, from al-Zuhn, that when conditions there became worse, 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent to MJyayna b. Hisn and al-Harith b. c Awf 
al-Murn - these men being leaders of Ghatafan - offering them a third of the 
dates of Medina if they were to go home and leave him and his men alone. And 
so peace talks were held between him and them, to the extent that they did sign 
a document. However, it was not properly witnessed with true intent for peace, 
but merely to reduce tension. 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) wished to do this, he sent for Sa<d 
b. Mu ( adh and Sa<d b. "Umara, informed them and sought their counsel. They 
responded, 'Messenger of God, is this something that you wish to do, something 
God has ordered you to do and which we must put into effect, or is it something 
you are doing for us?' 

"He replied, 'It is something I am doing for you. I swear by God, I am only 
doing this because I see the Arabs shooting at you as if from one bow, and because 
they are attacking you from all sides. I want to break up their coalition against you.' 

"Say b. Mu'adh then told him, 'Messenger of God, we used to be disbelievers 
in God, and worshipped idols along with those people, not worshipping nor 
knowing God. At that time, they would never have dreamed of eating a single 
date of ours except as our guests or after purchase. Should we give them our 
property now, after God has honoured us with Islam, led us to Him and given 
us esteem through you and through Him? We'll have none of this! By God, all 
we'll give them is the sword, until God decides between us and them!' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) responded, 'As you wish.' Thereupon Sa c d b. Mu'adh 
took the document and erased the writing from it, saying, 'Now let them fight 
us!'" 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) remained there with his men under siege 
but without warfare underway between them and their enemy, except that some 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 143 

of the Quraysh cavalry, consisting of c Amr b. c Abd Wudd b. Abu Qays, of Banu 
c Amir b. Lu'ayy, t Ikrima b. Abu Jahl, Hubayra b. Abu Wahb, both of Banu 
Makhzum, Dirar b. al-Khattab b. Mirdas, of Banu Muharib b. Fihr, donned 
their armour and then went forth on horseback to the positions held by Banu 
Kinana. There they called out, 'Banu Kinana, prepare for battle! You're going 
to discover who are the true knights today!' 

"They charged forward on their mounts, but stopped at the trench saying, 
when they saw it, 'By God, this is a trick no Arab used before!' They then 
headed for a narrow part of the trench and beat their horses, which charged 
over it and carried them to swampy ground between the trench and a fissure. 
Thereupon < Ali b. Abu Talib and a group of Muslims came out and blocked 
the opening through which they had forced their horses. The enemy horsemen 
then charged at them. 

" c Amr b. c Abd Wudd had fought at Badr but been badly wounded and 
consequently had not been present at Uhud. At al-khandaq he had come out 
to battle wearing his insignia so that his rank would be evident. Now there on 
his horse, he cried out, 'Who will accept my challenge to combat?' c Ali b. Abu 
Talib, God be pleased with him, came forward and said, ' c Amr, you used to 
swear by God that if any man of Quraysh offered you two choices, you would 
accept one of them,' 'That is so,' c Amr replied. ^Ali then said, 'Well then, I invite 
you to God and to His messenger and to Islam!' 'I don't need that,' replied 
c Amr. 'Then', c Ali continued, 'I invite you to combat!' c Amr responded, 'Why 
this, nephew? I swear, I don't want to kill you.' c Ah replied, 'But, by God, I want 
to kill you!' 

"This enraged ( Amr and he leaped off his horse and hobbled it and beat its 
head. He then advanced at c Ali and they fought, circling around one another 
until 'All, God be pleased with him, eventually killed him. Their horsemen left 
in defeat, charging back across the trench in flight." 

According to Ibn Ishaq, <AIi b. Abu Talib spoke the following verses on that: 

"He sought aid from the stone (idol) in his stupidity, 
while I righdy sought support from the Lord of 
Muhammad. 

I felt proud when I left him prostrate like a tree 
stump amid the fine sand and rocks. 

And refrained from taking his armour, though if I had 
been defeated he would have had mine. 

Do not think that God would abandon His faith and His 
prophet, you clansmen!" 

Ibn Hisham stated that most authorities on poetry doubt that this poetry was 
by c Ali. 

Ibn Hisham also said that ^krima tossed his spear away that day when he 
was defeated by c Amr, and that Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses on 
that subject: 



1 44 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"He fled and threw his spear to us; perhaps, Ikrim, 
you should not have done this. 

You turned and ran like a male ostrich, looking only 
straight ahead. 

You did not turn your back like a man would; the nape 
of your neck was like that ofa.Jur c al. n 

Ibn Hisham explained that the word filial means a young hyena. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql recounted in his Dala>il al-Nubuwwa, quoting Ibn Ishaq 
in another place in the sira, the life of the Prophet (SAAS), as follows, " ( Amr b. 
c Abd Wudd went forth in full armour and called out, 'Who will meet me in 
combat?' c Ali b. Abu Talib arose and said, TU do it, Prophet of God.' 'But that 
is c Amr,' he replied. 'Sit down!' <Amr called out again, 'Will no man accept 
combat?' He then began teasing them, saying, 'What about that paradise of 
yours? Don't you claim that any of you who are killed will enter there? So will 
not any man of you accept combat with me?' ^Ali again arose and asked, 'May I, 
Messenger of God?' 'Sit down!' he replied. Then c Amr called out a third time, 
speaking the verses, 

'I'm hoarse from calling out to them. Won't 
someone come forth? 

While those thought brave are too cowardly, I've stood 
here like an accomplished champion. 

That is why I have always hastened forth before the 
fighting begins. 

In a warrior, it is bravery and generosity that are the 
best qualities.' 

" c Ali again arose and went over to the Messenger of God (SAAS), 'May I go, 
Messenger of God?' He replied, 'But it is c Amr.' 'Even though it is ( Amr!' he 
insisted. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then gave him permission and he 
walked out towards him, reciting the verses, 

'Do not hurry away, for someone who is not weak is 
responding to your challenge. 

He is a man of determination and wisdom, and truth is 
the resort of all who succeed. 

I hope that I will make mourning women stand over you 

From the thrust of a spear that will always be 
mentioned in talk of warfare.' 

" c Amr asked him, 'Who are you?' 'I am c All,' he replied. 

'"You mean c Abd Manafs son,' c Amr enquired. 'No; I'm c Ali son of Abu 
Talib,' he responded. 'Nephew,' 'Amr told him, 'you have uncles who are more 
mature than you; I am reluctant to shed your blood.' c All replied, 'But, by God, 
I'm not reluctant to shed your blood.' This angered ( Amr and he dismounted 
and drew his sword like fire flashing. He then advanced furiously towards c Ali. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 145 

c All met him with his leather shield. c Amr struck it and pierced it, his sword 
remaining stuck in it while it also struck 'All's head. Then e All struck him in his 
neck vein and he fell down. The dust had risen and the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) heard someone saying, i Allahu Akbarl God is most Great!' And so we 
knew that c All had killed him. c Ali then spoke the lines, 

'Is it against me that the horsemen thus charge; my 
companions held me back from them. 

My zeal today and a resolve in my mind, not just in my 
(mouth) tooth.' 

"He then went on to speak the line, 

'He worshipped the stone (idol) in his stupidity, while 
I wisely sought aid from Muhammad's Lord.' 

"Then 'All went on towards the Messenger of God (SAAS), his face beaming, 
and 'Umar b. al-Khattab asked him, 'Did you strip off his armour? It's the 
best armour among the Arabs.' c All responded, 'As I struck him, he shielded his 
private parts from me, and I felt embarrassed to despoil my own cousin.' 
"Vlmr's cavalry then left in defeat, charging back across the trench," 

Ibn Ishaq further stated, as quoted by al-Bayhaql, that c Ali struck him at the 
collarbone, his weapon going on down to emerge from his belly, and that c Amr 
died in the trench. The polytheists then sent word to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), seeking to purchase his corpse for 10,000 (dirhams). But he responded, 
"He's yours. We don't profit from the dead." 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Nasr b. Bab related to us, quoting Hajjaj, from al-Hakam, 
from Miqsam, from Ibn ( Abbas, who said, 'The Muslims killed at the trench a 
polytheist and were given money for his corpse. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
then said "Give them back the money for his corpse; his corpse is evil, and so 
would be the blood-money." He would not accept anything from them.'" 

Al-Bayhaql narrated this from a hadith of Hammad b. Salama, from Hajjaj, 
he being Ibn Artat, from al-Hak^m, from Miqsam, from Ibn ^bbas, whom he 
quoted as saying that a polytheist was killed at the battle of al-Ahzab and that a 
message was then sent to the Messenger of God (SAAS) offering payment of 
12,000 (dirhams) for his body. He responded, "There's no good in his body, nor 
in the price for it." 

Al-Tirmidhl related this from a hadith of SufySn al-Thawri, from Ibn Abu 
Layla, from al-Hakam, from Miqsam, from Ibn <Abbas. He categorized this 
hadith as gkarib, "unilateral". 

Musa b. 'Uqba recounted that it was actually the body of Nawfal b. ( Abd Allah 
al-Makhzumi they requested after he was killed, and that it was for him that they 
offered blood-money. But he (the Prophet (SAAS)) responded, "He is evil, and 
so would be the blood-money; God has cursed him and his blood-money. We 



146 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

have no intent to take blood-money for him. And we will not prevent you from 
burying hira." 

Yunus b. Bukayr quoted Ibn Ishaq as stating, "Nawfal b. c Abd Allah b. 
al-Mughira al-Makhzuml came forth and made a challenge for combat. Al-Zubayr 
accepted and went out to battle him, striking him so hard that he split him in 
two and badly dented his sword. He then left, reciting the line, 

'I'm a man who protects and defends the Prophet, the 
chosen one, al-ummf' y the untutored.'" 

Ibn Jarir stated that when Nawfal became trapped in the trench, the Muslims 
began hurling rocks at him. So he said, "A death better than this, I pray you, 
fellow Arabs!" At that c Ali went down and killed him. The polytheists then 
asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) for his body, offering a price for it. But 
he refused to take anything from them and allowed them to remove it. 

This hadith is to be categorized as gkarib, "unilateral", from two sources. 

Al-Bayhaqi narrated through Hammad b. Yazld, from Hisham b. <Urwa, from 
his father, from <Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, who said, "At the battle of al-khandaq, 
I was put in the fortress with the women and children. With me was 'Umar b. 
Abu Salama, who would bend over so that I could get on his back and observe. 
I saw my father charging first here, then there, attacking everything that came 
before him. That evening he joined us in the fortress, and I commented to him, 
'Father, I watched what you did today!' He responded, 'So you saw me, son!' 
'Yes,' I affirmed. 'Well, may my father and mother be your ransom!'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Abu Layla, that is <Abd Allah b. Sahl b. <Abd al-Rahman 
b. Sahl al-Ansari, brother of Banu Haritha, related to me that 'A'isha, mother 
of the faithful, was in the fort of Banu Haritha, one of the most secure of the 
Medina forts, during the battle of al-khandaq. Umm Sa<d b. Mu^dh was with 
her there. c A 5 isha said, That was before the veil was imposed on us. Say passed 
by wearing armour so small that his whole arm was exposed. He was carrying a 
spear and as he brandished it, he would call out, 

"Stay awhile and let Hamal watch the fight 
There's no harm in death when the time is right!" ' 

'His mother called out to him, "'Hurry along, son! By God, you're late already!" 
I commented to her, "Umm Sa^, I just wish Sa<d's armour was larger." I was 
afraid he would be struck in those very places; and indeed an arrow was shot at 
Say b. Mu c adh that severed the artery of his arm.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " c Asim b. Vmar b. Qatada told me, 'It was Hibban b. Qays 
b. al- ( Ariqa of Banu c Amir b. Lu'ayy who shot at him and when the arrow struck, 

36. This adjective has been the subject of much study. Some consider it to refer to someone 
coming from Mecca, known as the Umm ai-Qura, "the mother of all cities". Others interpret it to 
mean unlettered, untutored and therefore a reference to the miraculous nature of the Qur'an and 
the impossibility of its having been composed by someone who lacked education. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 147 

he called out, 'Take that from me; I'm Ibn al- c Ariqa!' Sa<d responded, 'May 
God make your face sweat 37 in hell! O God, if You will prolong this battle with 
Quraysh, preserve me for it! For there is no people I would rather fight than 
those who have harmed Your messenger, disbelieved in him and expelled 
him. But if You decree (continued) war between us and them, then make me a 
witness to it, and do not make me die before letting me engage in battle with 
Banu Qurayza!'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "A reliable source related to me, from c Abd Allah b. Ka'b 
b. Malik, that the latter would say, 'Actually, it was Abu Usama al-Jushami, an 
ally of Banu Makhzum, who struck Sa^ that day.' And Abu Usama composed 
the following verse on the subject that he recited to ^krima b. Abu Jahl: 

'Ikrim, were you not blaming me when you said, "May 
Khalid be your ransom at the forts of Medina?" 

Was it not I who struck Sa<d with an arrow in his 
elbow, causing a wound that would not congeal? 

It caused Sa c d's death and made old women and well- 
breasted virgins mourn. 

It was you who defended him when 'Ubayda called in his 
distress to a group of them, 

Those times when they avoided his path, while at other 
times they were too scared to act."' 

Ibn Ishaq commented, "God knows which account is correct." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "It is also said that it was Khafaja b. 'Asim b. Hibban who 
struck Sa^." 

I would comment that God did respond to the plea of His servant Sa^ 
b. Mu<adh concerning Banu Qurayza. God did please him, and He thus ruled 
regarding them with strength and ease; and He made it be they who requested 
that, as will be explained hereafter. He decreed that their warriors be slain and 
their children be taken captive. And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) said to 
him, "You issued judgement concerning them, by the decision of God above 
the seven heavens." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Yahya b. c Abbad b. c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr related to me, 
quoting his father c Abbad as having said, 'Safiyya, daughter of c Abd al-Muttahb, 
was in Fari c , the castle of Hassan b. Thabit and she said, "Hassan was there with 
us along with the women and children. A Jew passed by and began circling 
around the casde. Banu Qurayza had begun fighting and had cut off its relations 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS). There was no one there to protect us while 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) and the Muslims were so engaged with the 
enemy that there was no one who could leave them and come to us if someone 
should attack us. So I said, 'Hassan, as you can see, that Jew is circling the castle 

37. The word <-ariqa in the name of the Quraysh archer means to sweat; hence Sa^'s response. 



148 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

and I am concerned that he might inform the Jews over behind us of where our 
weakness lies, now that the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men are so busy. 
Go down to him and kill him!' He replied, 'God forgive you, daughter of c Abd 
al-Muttalib! You must know I could never do such as thing as that.'" 

"'She went on, "When he said this to me and I saw I could expect nothing 
from him, I put on a waist-wrapper then took a cudgel and went down from 
the fort towards him. Then I struck him with the cudgel till I had killed him. 
When I had finished with him, I returned to the fort and said, 'Hassan, now 
you go down and plunder him- the only thing that prevented me doing it was 
his being a man.' He replied, I don't need to plunder him, daughter of ( Abd 
al-Muttalib!""" 

Mtlsa b. ^qba stated, "The polytheists surrounded the Muslims, so rendering 
them with their squadrons inside a kind of fortress. They besieged them for 
some 20 nights, coming at them from every side, so that they never knew whether 
or not (the attack) was over." 

He went on, "They sent one large detachment towards where the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) was stationed, and they did battle all day until night came. 
When it was time for the al-'asr prayer, the enemy force was still at hand and 
so neither the Prophet (SAAS) nor any of the men with him could perform 
the al- l asr prayer in the manner they wished. When, at night, the enemy force 
turned away, people claim that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'They kept 
us from the l asr prayer; may God fill their bellies and their hearts ('and their 
graves,' according to one report) with fire!' 

"When conditions worsened, so did the attitude of many people and they 
began saying ugly things. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw the state 
of his men and their ill mood, he tried to encourage them, saying, 'By Him who 
bears my soul in His hand, He will give you relief from the distress you are 
suffering. I certainly hope to circumambulate in safety around the Ancient House 
and that God will present me with the keys to the ka l ba, and that God will destroy 
Caesar and Chosroe and that we will expend their wealth in God's cause!'" 

Al-Bukhan stated, "Ishaq related to us, quoting Rawh, quoting Hisham, 
from Muhammad, from c Ablda, from c AlT, who quoted the Prophet (SAAS) 
as having said at the battle of al-khandaq, 'May God fill with fire their houses 
above them and their graves, for them having kept us from the middle prayer 
until the sun set.'" 

The rest of the narrators, except for Ibn Majah, related it similarly from 
various lines back to Hisham b. Hassan, from Muhammad b. Sinn, from "Ubayda, 
from c Ali. Muslim and al-Tirmidhl related it through Sa c ld. b. Abu IJruba, from 
Qatada, from Abu Hassan al-AVaj, from "Ubayda, .from 'All. Al-Tirmidhl 
categorized the hadtth as kasan, sakih, "good and authentic". 

Then al-Bukharl stated, "Al-Makki b. Ibrahim related to us, quoting Hisham, 
from Yahya, from Abu Salama, from Jabir b. *Abd Allah, that HJmar b. al-Khattab 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 149 

came along, at the battle of al-khandaq, after the sun had set, and began cursing 
the Quraysh unbelievers. He said, 'Messenger of God, I could scarcely perform 
my prayers before the sun had almost set.' The Prophet (SAAS) responded, 'By 
God, I didn't perform it!' We then went on down with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) to Buthan, and he performed the prayer ablutions, as did we too. He 
then performed the l asr prayer after the sun had set and thereafter went on to 
perform the maghrib, after sunset, prayer." 

Al-Bukhari also related this, as did Muslim, al-Tirmidhl, and al-Nasa% from 
various lines, back to Yahya b. Abu Kathir, from Abu Salama. 

Imam Ahmad stated, " ( Abd al-Samad related to us, quoting Thabit, quoting 
Hilal, from Ikrima, from Ibn 'Abbas, who said, 'The Prophet (SAAS) engaged 
the enemy in battle and had not finished doing so when it became too late to 
perform the al- c asr prayer. When he realized this, he said, "O God, may you fill 
with fire the homes and graves of those who kept us from performing the salat 
al-wusta" ("the medial prayer").'" 

Only Ahmad gives wording like this; it comes to us from an account of Hilal 
b. Khabbab al-'Abdl al-Kufi, a trustworthy source, vouched for by al-Tirmidhl 
and others. 

Some scholars point to these ahadtth as evidence for the prayer salat al-wusta 
being that of al-^asr, as is implied in them. The qadi al-Mawardi M accepted this 
for the "school" of al-Shafi c l because of the authenticity of this hadith. 

I have examined this carefully with quotations and evidences with reference to 
the words of the Almighty, "Attend well to the prayers, and to the salat al-wusta, 
and stand up before God, in humility" {surat al-Baqara; II, v.238). 

Some authorities make reference to this action to justify delaying the prayer 
because of battle; this is the view of Makhul and al-Awza c I. 

Al-Bukhari devoted a section to this and used this hadith and the statement 
made by the Messenger of God (SAAS) when he ordered his men into action 
against Banu Qurayza, as will be shown. He quotes the statement, "None of you 
should perform the al-'-asr prayer unless it be at where the Banu Qurayza are." 
Some of the men actually performed the l asr prayer on the way, while others of 
them only did so after reaching there, following the sunset. He (the Prophet 
(SAAS)) did not deal harshly with either of the two groups. He (al-Bukhari) also 
quoted as his authorities the Companions of the Prophet (SAAS), and those 
others present with them at the siege of Tastur in 20 AH, in the time of IJmar, 
where they performed the morning prayer after sunrise. This was due to the 
fighting and to the approaching defeat of the fortress. 

Other scholars, in fact the majority of them, including al-Shafi c I, stated that 
this procedure at the battle of al-khandaq was abrogated by the legalization of 

38. Abu al-Hasan c Ali, known as al-Mawardi (974-1058 AD) of Basra was a scholar of the Shaft's 
school. His work al-Ahiam al-Sulta-niya, for which he is best known, examines theories and practices 
of government from the perspectives of Islamic law. 



ISO THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

the salat al-khawf thereafter; at that time this had not been made legal and that 
was why they postponed it that day. But this is an undecided issue. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "A group of scholars maintain that the Prophet (SAAS) 
performed the al-khaw/praytr at ^Usfan." 

Ibn Ishaq, who is certainly the authority on the maghazi, the military engage- 
ments, mentions this incident before al-khandaq, as he had with Dhat al-Riqa c , 
to which he also referred before al-khandaq. But God knows best. 

The statement that the postponement of the prayer at the battle of al-khandaq 
came about inadvertently, as the commentators on (the sahih collection) of 
Muslim related from certain others, is problematical; for it is unlikely that 
this would have occurred for such a large group, bearing in mind their strong 
determination to observe the prayers. How could this be when it is related that 
on that day they put off the prayers of the al-zuhr, noon, the al~<asr, the late 
afternoon, and the al-maghrib, the sunset, until the whole group prayed at the 
time of the al-Hsha?, the evening, according to the account of Abu Hurayra and 
Abu Sa'id? 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Both Yazld and Hajjaj related to us as follows, 'Ibn 
Abu DhPb related to us, from al-Maqburi, from c Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Sa'ld 
al-Khudri, who quoted his father as saying, "We were pinned down at al-khandaq 
until part of the night had gone by and eventually we were relieved." That 
relates to the statement, "God saved the believers in battle; and God is mighty, 
powerful"'" {surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.25). So the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
called for Bilal, gave him his orders, and set about performing the al-zuhr 
prayer as he would do at its normal time. Then he performed in turn the prayers 
for al- l asr, al-maghrib and al-HshiP. He did this before he dismounted. Hajjaj 
stated, "This is in keeping with the instruction concerning the salat al-khawf. 'If 
you are afraid, it can be performed on foot or while mounted' " {surat al-Baqara; 
II, v.239). 

Al-Nasa 3 l related this from al-Fallas, from Yahya al-Qattan, from Ibn Abu 
DhPb. He said, "At al-khandaq the polytheists kept us from the al-zuhr prayer 
until the sun had set." He then related the hadith as above. 

Ahmad stated, "Hushaym related to us, quoting Abu al-Zubayr, from Nafi < 
b. Jubayr, from Abu c Ubayda b. <Abd Allah b. Mas c ud, from his father, to the 
effect that at al-khandaq the polytheists kept the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
from performing four prayers until such part of the night had passed that God 
had determined. And so he gave orders to Bilal, who gave the call to prayer. He 
then set about praying the al-zuhr, followed by the al-'-asr, al-maghrib and then 
al-Hsha\" 

The hafiz Abu Bakr al-Bazzar stated, "Muhammad b. Ma c mar related to us, 
quoting Mu'ammil — meaning Ibn Ismail - quoting Hammad - meaning Ibn 
Salama, from <Abd aUCarim - meaning Ibn Abu al-Mukhariq - from Mujahid, 
from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, that the Prophet (SAAS) was kept at al-khandaq from 
performing the prayers of al-zuhr, al- c asr, al-maghrib, and al-Hsha>. Eventually 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 1 5 1 

he gave orders to Bilal who made the call for prayer, and then he performed the 
al-zuhr. Thereafter, he ordered Bilal to again make the call and then performed 
the al- c asr. Again he ordered Bilal to make the call and then performed the 
al-maghrib, after which he once more ordered him to make the call and then 
performed the al-HshlP. He then stated, 'There is not upon the face of the earth 
any people but you making mention of God's name at this hour.' " 

Al-Bazzar was alone in giving this hadith. And he stated, "We know of this 
only through this line of authorities; however, some others relate it from c Abd 
al-Karim, from Mujahid, from Abu < Ubayda, from c Abd Allah." 



CONCERNING THE PRA VERS SPOKEN BY THE MESSENGER OF GOD 
(SAAS) AGAINST THE AHZAB, THE CLANS. 

And how God used His might and power to deal with them in response to 
His messenger (SAAS), and to guard his noble person. He therefore sent their 
minds into turmoil and thereafter turned a fierce wind upon them and shook 
their bodies. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Abu { Amir related to us, quoting al-Zubayr - meaning 
Ibn c Abd Allah - quoting Rabih b. Abu Sa<id al-Khudari, from his father, who 
said, 'At al-khandaq, we asked, "Messenger of God, is there something we 
should speak? For the hearts have reached the throats!" He replied, "Yes: 'O 
God protect our weaknesses and pacify our fears.'" And then God smote with 
wind the faces of His enemies.'" 

Ibn Abu Hatim related this in his Tafeir (Exegesis), from his father, from 
Abu c Amir - meaning al- e Aqadi — from al-Zubayr b. c Abd Allah, freed-man 
of <Uthman b. c Affan, from Rabih b. c Abd Al-Rahman b. Abu Sa ( ld, from his 
father, from Abu Sa c id, who related it, and this is the correct (line). 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Husayn related to us, from Ibn Abu DhPb, from a man 
of BanQ Salama, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, that the Prophet (SAAS) came to 
the place of prayer at the battle of al-Ahzab, took off his cloak, and stood with 
his hands raised and outstretched invoking God against them; and he did not 
pray." He (Jabir) then said, "After that he again came and invoked God against 
them, then prayed." 

It is established in both sakih collections, from ahadith of Isma c ll b. Abu 
Khalid, from c Abd Allah b. Abu Awfa, who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
invoked God against the clans, saying, 'O God, Revealer of the Book, Quick to 
take account, defeat the clans! O God, defeat them, and shake them!'" 

In one account the wording is, "O God, defeat them and give us victory 
over them!" 

Al-Bukhari related from Qutayba, from al-Layth, from Sa c id al-Maqburi, 
from his father, from Abu Hurayra, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) used to 
say, "There is no god but God alone; He gave power to His forces, gave victory 
to His slave and overcame the clans by Himself. There is nothing after Him." 



1 5 2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men remained in 
that state of fear and difficulty as God described at the attacks of their enemy 
who came at them from above and from below. Eventually Nu c aym b. Mas^d b. 
c Amir b. Unayf b. Tha<laba b. Qunfudh b. Hilal b. Khalawa b. Ashja* b. Rayth 
b. Ghatafan went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 'Messenger 
of God, I have accepted Islam, but my people do not know of this. Give me 
whatever orders you wish.' He replied, 'You are only one man; use trickery to 
relieve us of them, if you can. War is deception.' 

"Nu c aym b. Mas c ud then left and went out to Banu Qurayza whose close 
companion he had been before Islam. He reminded them of his friendship and 
association with them. They accepted this and expressed their confidence in 
him. He then told them that Quraysh and Ghatafan were not in the same 
situation as themselves. The battle area, he reminded them, was their territory 
and the site of their property, wives and children. He observed that they had 
nowhere else to go, whereas Quraysh and Ghatafan had come in to do battle 
against Muhammad and his men from elsewhere. Banu Qurayza, he observed, 
had joined in battling him even though territory, women and property of the 
other tribes were elsewhere. This meant that Quraysh and Ghatafan would take 
any opportunity they could, but if they were unsuccessful, they would return 
home, leaving the lands of Banu Qurayza between themselves and their enemy. 
And then Banu Qurayza would have insufficient power to withstand him if they 
were left alone. He advised them, therefore, not to participate with Quraysh and 
Ghatafan in the fighting without taking some of the leaders of the two tribes 
as hostages to guarantee that they would fight on against Muhammad until they 
defeated him. Banu Qurayza agreed to this. 

"Nu'aym then went to Quraysh and reminded Abu Sufyan and those with 
him of his friendship for them and alienation from Muhammad. He then told 
them he had some information he thought he should impart to them and he 
asked them to keep it confidential. They said they would. 

"He told them that the Jews had regretted the way they had behaved towards 
Muhammad and had sent him a message telling him of this. They had asked 
him if he would like them to take hostage some of the leaders of Quraysh and 
Ghatafan and then hand them over to him for execution. After that, the Jews 
promised him their support in annihilating them and the Prophet (SAAS) had 
agreed to this. 'Now therefore,' he went on, 'if the Jews should send asking for 
some of their men as hostages you should not agree to hand over a single one.' 

"Nu'aym then went to Ghatafan, reminded them of his close ties and friendship 
and of their trust he enjoyed. They agreed that they trusted him, and he asked 
them to keep his remarks confidential. They accepted this, and he then told them 
what he had told Quraysh and advised them to be cautious. 

"When the night of the sabbath of Shawwal in 5 AH arrived, God so arranged 
it for His messenger (SAAS) that Abu Sufyan b. Harb and the leaders of 
Ghatafan sent c Ikrima b, Abu Jahl and some other Quraysh and Ghatafan men 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 153 

to Banu Qurayza and told them that they were not in permanent quarters and 
that their horses and camels were dying. They asked them to prepare for battle 
that would destroy and rid them of Muhammad. BanQ Qurayza replied that it 
was a day when they could do nothing; they referred to the fate of some of 
them who had acted previously on that day (the sabbath). They also refused to 
participate in fighting Muhammad until they received hostages who would 
guarantee continued action until he was defeated. They expressed their fear 
that if their allies suffered severe losses in the fighting, they would retreat home, 
leaving themselves alone with the enemy on their territory and that they would 
not have the power to defeat him. 

"When their messengers returned with news of the response made by Banu 
Qurayza, Quraysh and Ghatafan believed in what Nu'aym b. Mas'ud had told 
them. And so they sent the message back that they would not deliver a single 
man over to Banu Qurayza, and that it was up to them whether or not to come 
out to engage in battle. When the messengers brought them this response, Banu 
Qurayza believed that what Nu'aym b. Mas c ud had told them was true. They 
were sure that Quraysh and Ghatafan would seize any opportunities they had, 
but otherwise would disperse into their own territories, thus leaving them alone 
to cope with the Muslims. They therefore sent back to Quraysh and Ghatafan 
that they would only do battle along with them if they were to hand over hostages 
to them. 

"Quraysh and Ghatafan refused this; God thus created dissension between 
them and then that night He sent a fierce wind against them, on an extremely 
cold winter's night that overturned their cooking pots and vessels." 

This account related about Nu<aym b. Mas'ud by Ibn Ishaq is better than that 
related by Musa b. 'Uqba. 

Al-Bayhaqi gave it in his DaWil (The Signs). The gist of his narration was 
that what had reached him was that Nu%ym b. Mas c ud would spread abroad 
whatever news he learned. And it so happened that one evening the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) beckoned to him to come over as he passed by and asked him 
what he had heard. Nu'aym replied that Quraysh and Ghatafan had sent to Banu 
Qurayza asking them to come forth in battle to finish off the Messenger of God 
(SAAS). Banu Qurayza had agreed to this on condition that hostages be given 
over to them. It had previously been related that they had only abrogated the 
pact at the hands of Huyayy b. Akhtab on condition that hostages would be 
brought to them as security. 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said to Nu ( aym, "I wish to tell you 
something in confidence; do not repeat it. They sent to me seeking peace if I 
would restore Banu al-Nadlr to their homes and property." 

Following this, Nu'aym b. Mas c ud left for Ghatafan and the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) commented, "Warfare is deception; perhaps God will act on our 
behalf." 



1 54 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Nu'aym went to Quraysh and Ghatafan and told them this news and they 
hastily despatched <Ikrima and a group of men to Banu Qurayza asking them to 
join in the fighting alongside them. It happened to be a sabbath, however, that 
the Jews held sacred; moreover, they asked for hostages as security. And so God 
came between them and they disagreed with one another. 

I would comment that it is likely that when Banu Qurayza gave up hope of 
setding their difficulties with Quraysh and Ghatafan, they did send to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), requesting peace on condition that he restore Banu 
al-Nadlr to Medina. But God knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) learned of their dispute 
and how God had broken their unity, he despatched Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman over 
to them to see what the enemy was doing that night." 

He went on, "Yazid b. Ziyad related to me, from Muhammad b. Ka<b 
al-Qurazi, who said, 'A man from Kufa asked Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman, 'Abu c Abd 
Allah, have you actually seen the Messenger of God (SAAS), and were you 
really a Companion of his?' 'Oh yes, nephew,' he replied. 'And how did you 
get by?' he asked. Hudhayfa replied, 'It was difficult for us, I swear by God.' 'I 
swear', commented the Kufan, 'if we'd lived at his time, we'd never have let his 
foot so much as touch the ground; we'd have carried him on our shoulders.' 
Hudhayfa responded, 'Nephew, I swear I see us now with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) at al-khandaq, and after he had prayed for part of the night, he turned 
to us and asked, "Who will volunteer to go and see what the enemy is doing, 
and then come back?" The Messenger of God (SAAS) stipulated that if the 
volunteer would come back, he would ask God that the man be his Companion 
in paradise. But so severe was the fear, cold and hunger, that not one person 
volunteered. Since no one had risen, he called upon me, and once he had done so, 
I had no alternative but to do so. He then told me, "Hudhayfa, go and infiltrate 
the enemy. Go and see what they are doing, but don't cause any trouble; then 
return to us." 

"'So I did so. The gale and God's soldiers were greatly damaging them, 
leaving them no fire nor pots, nor tents upright. Abu Sufyan arose and said, 
"Quraysh, every man check out the person sitting next to him." 

'"At this I took the hand of the man next to me and asked him his name. He 
told me who he was. Abu Sufyan then said, "We're not in a permanent camp, 
our horses and camels are dying, and Banu Qurayza are at odds with us, and 
we've heard things about them that we don't like. You can see what we've lost 
due to the gale, how our cooking pots won't stay upright, and we can't keep fires 
burning and our tents standing. You should leave, as I am about to do." He then 
went to his camel which was hobbled, mounted it, struck it so that it arose on 
three legs since he only unhobbled it when it was standing. If it had not been for 
the promise the Messenger of God (SAAS) made me make not to cause trouble, 
I could have shot him with an arrow."' 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 1 55 

Hudhayfa went on, "So I returned to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and 
found him standing in prayer shrouded in a wrap belonging to one of his wives. 
When he saw me, he asked me to come in (to sit) at his feet and threw an end 
of the wrap over me. He then bowed and prostrated, while I was under it. When 
he was finished, I related the news to him. When Ghatafan heard what Quraysh 
had done, they hurried off home," 

This hadith is munqati\ incomplete in its line, in this version, 

Muslim b. Hajjaj related this hadith in his sahih collection, from an account of 
al-A c mash, from Ibrahim b. Yazld al-Taymi, from his father, who said, "We 
were with Hudhayfa when a man told him, 'If I had been alive with the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) I would have fought alongside him heroically.' 'Would you, 
indeed?' Hudhayfa asked him and went on, 'Once we were there at the battle of 
al-Ahzab with the Messenger of God (SAAS). It was night time and there was a 
fierce, cold gale blowing. He asked us, "Is there no man who will bring me news 
of the enemy and be with me at Judgement Day?" When none of us responded, 
he asked the same question a second and a third time. Then he said, "Hudhayfa, 
you go and bring us news of the enemy." Since he had called upon me by name, 
I had no alternative but to get up. He then said, "Bring me news of them without 
giving them any cause for alarm about me." So I left and made my way to them, 
feeling as if I was walking through a public bath! I found Abu Sufyan there 
warming his back to the fire. I placed an arrow in the centre of my bow and was 
about to release it when I remembered how the Messenger of God (SAAS) had 
told me not to give them any alarm about him. If I had shot it, I would have 
hit him. I then left to return to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and again the 
feeling of walking in a public bath overcame me. When I arrived back, I felt very 
cold and chilled once again. I told this to him and he put over me part of the 
cloak he was wearing as he prayed. I slept right on through till morning, when he 
spoke to me, saying, "Up you get, sleepy-head!'"" 

Al-Hakim related this kadith, as did the hafiz al-Bayhaqi in his Dal&il, in 
an extended form from a hadith of "Ikrima b. c Ammar, from Muhammad b. 
c Abd Allah al-Du>ah, from c Abd al- c Azlz, the nephew of Hudhayfa, who said, 
"Hudhayfa related the events in which they had participated with the Messenger 
of God (SAAS). Those sitting listening to him commented how they would have 
behaved in various ways if they had been present. Hudhayfa then said, 'You 
shouldn't wish for that. There we were, drawn up in battle array, keeping down, 
while Abu Sufyan and his forces were above us, while the Jews of Banu Qurayza 
were down below us, making us fear for our families. We never experienced any 
night so black and violent as that; the winds blew fiercely with great explosions 
like thunderbolts. It was so dark we couldn't even see our fingers. 

" 'The backsliders began asking the Prophet (SAAS) permission to withdraw, 
saying that their homes were exposed — though they were not exposed. He gave 



1 56 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

his permission to leave to each person who asked and so they would slip away. 
We were some 300 men in number. The Messenger of God (SAAS) received us 
one by one until eventually my turn came; I had nothing on to protect me from 
the enemy and the cold except a woollen coat of my wife that came down no 
further than my knees. When he came to me I was kneeling down. He asked, 
"And who is this?" "Hudhayfa," I replied, "Hudhayfa, eh?" "Yes, Messenger of 
God," I responded, keeping down close to the ground and unwilling to get up. 
But I did rise and he said, "There's activity among the enemy; bring me news of 
them." Actually, I was the most terrified of our men and certainly the coldest. 

'"When I left, the Messenger of God (SAAS) spoke the words, "O God, 
protect him from danger from his front and rear, from his left and his right, from 
above him and from below him." And, I swear, I felt from then on entirely empty 
of the fear and cold God had previously created inside me! As I was turning to 
leave, he called out, "Hudhayfa, don't cause any disturbance in the enemy before 
you come back to me." 

"'As I approached the enemy camp, I saw the light of a fire they had burning. 
There I saw a dark-skinned, heavy-set man holding his hands out above the fire 
and then wiping them on his waist, saying, "Get the mounts ready!" I had not 
known Abu Sufyan before that; I took out an arrow with white feathered flights 
from my quiver and positioned it in my bow to shoot it in the light of the fire, 
but then remembered how the Messenger of God (SAAS) had told me not to 
cause any disturbance before I returned to him. So I stopped and returned the 
arrow to my quiver. Then I mustered up my courage and entered their camp. 
Those men closest to me were of Banu c Amir, and they were saying that they 
should mount up and leave, since they had no permanent quarters there and that 
the wind was blowing straight through their camp. I could hear the sounds of the 
stones raised by the wind striking their mounts and their equipment. I left and 
went on my way back to the Messenger of God (SAAS). Halfway or thereabouts, 
I came across 20 or so horsemen, fully shrouded, who told me, "Tell your master 
that God has saved him!" 

"'So I returned to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and found him wrapped 
up in a blanket, praying. No sooner was I back than I felt terribly cold again and 
began shivering. As he prayed, the Messenger of God (SAAS) gestured to me 
and when I drew near him, he spread his blanket out over me. When something 
troubled the Messenger of God (SAAS), he would pray. I made my report 
about the enemy and how they had been moving out when I left the camp. Then 
Almighty God revealed, "O you who believe, remember God's favour to you, 
when troops came to you and We sent down against them a wind and (Our) 
troops you could not see. God is fully aware of what you do ..." up to and 
including, "And God was sufficient for the believers in battle. God is Almighty, 
Powerful'"" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.9-25). 

That is, God removed their enemy from them by the wind He sent against 
them and the troops of angels and others He sent to them. And so, "God saved 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 157 

the believers from battle." That is, they did not need to face them in lighting 
and in combat because the Almighty and All-Powerful drew them away through 
His power and strength. 

This is why it is established in both sahik collections from Abu Hurayra, who 
said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) used to say, 'There is no god but God 
alone; He was sincere in His promise and aided His servant, gave power to His 
troops and defeated the Ahzab all by Himself. After Him there is nothing.'" 

Regarding His words, "God saved the believers from battle", this is a reference 
to the cessation of war between the two sides. That is what occurred; thereafter, 
Quraysh never again instituted warfare against the Muslims. As Muhammad 
b. Ishaq, God be pleased with him, stated, "When the troops at al-khandaq left 
there, the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, so it has been related to me, 'After 
this year, Quraysh will not go to war against you, but you will against them.'" 

He went on, "And Quraysh did not attack thereafter, whereas they (the 
Muslims) did attack them, until God gave him victory over Mecca." This report 
comes from Ibn Ishaq. 

Imam. Ahmad stated, "Yahya related to us, from Sufyan, that Abu Ishaq 
related to him, 'I heard Sulayman b. Surad, God be pleased with him, say, 
"The Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, 'Now we will attack them, but not 
they us.""" 

Al-Bukhari related this thus from a hadith of Isma c ll and Sufyan al-Thawri, 
both of whom quoted Abu Ishaq al-Sabl't, from Sulayman b. Sard. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Three Muslims of Banu c Abd al-Ashhal were martyred at 
the battle of al-khandaq; they were Sa<d b. Mu*5dh" - extensive information 
about his death will follow - "Anas b. Aws b. c Atik b. <Amr, and <Abd Allah b. 
Sahl. Also killed were al-Tufayl b. al-Nu c man, Tha^aba b. Ghanama, both of 
Jashm and of Sulaym, and Ka'b b. Zayd al-Najari, who was killed by a stray arrow. 

"Three of the polytheists were killed. These were Munabih b. t Uthman b. 
^bayd b. al-Sabbaq b. c Abd al-Dar, who was struck by an arrow and later died 
from his wound in Mecca, Nawfal b. <Abd Allah b. al-Mughlra who charged 
across the trench on his horse and became bogged down and killed there; the 
polytheists offered a large sum for his body, as is related above. And there was 
c Amr b. <Abd Wudd al- c Amiri, who was killed by c Ail b. Abu Talib." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "A trustworthy authority related to me that al-Zuhrl said, 
' c All that day killed <Amr b. ( Abd Wudd, whose son was HasI b. c Amr." 

Ibn Hisham also stated, "He is known both as c Amr b. c Abd Wudd and c Amr 
b. <Abd." 

Section: On the Expedition against Banu Qurayza, 

On the severe violence God Almighty brought down upon them, along with the painful 
punishment He had prepared for them in the hereafter. 



1 5 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

All that was due to their disbelief, their breaking of the pacts between 
themselves and the Messenger of God (SAAS) and their allying themselves with 
the ahzab, the clans, against him. None of that did them any good and brought 
the wrath of God and His messenger down upon them, a bad bargain for them 
in this world and the next. 

God Almighty had stated, "And God turned back in their rage those who 
disbelieved, and they obtained no good advantage. God saved the believers from 
battle; and God is mighty, powerful. And He brought down those of the people 
of the Book who supported them from their fortresses, and He cast terror into 
their hearts; you killed one group (of them) and took prisoner another. And He 
made you inherit their lands, homes and property, along with a land you had 
not yet trodden. And God has power over all things" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, 
v.25-27). 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Muhammad b. Muqatil related to us, quoting c Abd Allah, 
quoting Musa b. tJqba, from Salim, and Nafi*, from £ Abd Allah, who said that 
whenever the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned from a military expedition, 
the pilgrimages of the hajj or the al-Himra, he would first affirm the greatness 
of God, and then he would say, 'There is no god but God alone! He has no 
associate. All dominion is His. All praise is due to Him. He has power over 
all things; we (return) repenting, seeking forgiveness, praying, prostrating and 
praising our Lord. God is true to His promise; He gave aid to His servant and 
defeated the ahzab by Himself.'" 

Muhammad b. Ishaq, God be pleased with him, stated, "Next morning the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) left the trench accompanied by the Muslims and 
returned to Medina, there laying down their arms. 

"At the noon prayer, Gabriel, so al-Zuhri told me, came to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), wearing a turban embroidered in silk and gold, riding a mule with 
a saddle adorned with a brocade cloth, and asked, 'Have you put down your 
weapons then, Messenger of God?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'Well,' Gabriel informed 
him, 'the angels have not yet put down theirs; I've come to you now from 
pursuing the enemy. God commands you, Muhammad, to go against Banu 
Qurayza. I myself am heading for them and am going to shake them up!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then summoned a muezzin and an announce- 
ment was made: 'All those who hear and obey should perform the al-<asr prayer 
only among Banu Qurayza.'" 

Ibn Hisham stated that he placed Ibn Umm Maktum in command over 
Medina. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "It was related to me by c Abd Allah b. Abu Shayba, quoting 
Ibn Numayr, from Hisham, from his father, who quoted c A 5 isha as saying, 
'When the Prophet (SAAS) returned from the trench and he had put down his 
arms and taken a bath, Gabriel came to him and said, "So you have put down 
your arms! We've not done so, I swear by God! Go forth to them!" "Where to?" 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 1 59 

he asked. "Over here." Gabriel said, gesturing towards Banu Qurayza. And so 
the Prophet (SAAS) did go forth.'" 

Ahmad stated, "Hasan related to us, quoting Hammad b. Salama, from Hisham 
b. 'Urwa, from his father, from c A 5 isha, who said, 'When the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) had disposed of the ahzab, he entered the bathhouse to bathe. Then 
Gabriel came and I could see, across the house, that his head was reddened with 
dust. He said, "Muhammad, you've laid down your arms then!" "We have laid 
down our arms," he replied. Gabriel said, "Well, we've not laid down ours yet. 
Get up after Banu Qurayza!'"" 

Al-Bukhari then stated, "Musa related to us, quoting Jarir b. Hazim, from 
Humayd b. Hilal, from Anas b. Malik, who said, 'It was as though I could see 
the dust rising in the street of Banu Ghanm (in Medina) due to the marching 
of Gabriel's troops when the Messenger of God (SAAS) set out against Banu 
Qurayza.' " 

Al-Bukhari also stated, "<Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Asma 5 related to 
us, quoting Juwayriyya b. Asma', from Nafi c , from Ibn c Umar, who said, 'The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) stated at the battle of al-Ahzab, "Let no one perform 
the al- c asr prayer unless it be among Banu Qurayza!" Time for the al-'-asr prayer 
came for some, while they were still travelling. And some of these decided not to 
perform the prayer before arriving, while others decided to pray then and that 
they had not been required to wait. This was reported to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), but he was not severe with any one of them.'" 

Muslim related it thus from c Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Asma 5 . 

The hafiz al-Bayhaqi stated, "Abu <Abd Allah al-Hafiz and Abu Bakr Ahmad 
b. al-Hasan al-Qadi both stated, 'Abu al- c Abbas Muhammad b. Ya ( qub related 
to us, quoting Muhammad b. Khalid b. 'All, from Bishr b. Harb, from his father, 
(who said) "Al-Zuhri related to us that <Abd al-Rahman b. c Abd Allah b. Ka<b 
b. Malik informed him that his uncle c Ubayd Allah told him that when the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) returned from fighting the al-akzab, he took off his 
breast-plate, washed and bathed, then Gabriel, upon whom be peace, appeared 
before him and said, 'Some warrior you are! It seems you have taken off your 
breast-plate! Well, we haven't done that yet!"" 

"At this, the Prophet (SAAS) got up in a fright and insisted that everyone 
should refrain from performing the al-'-asr prayer unless it be among Banu 
Qurayza. 

"And so the Muslims dressed in their armour. However, they arrived at Banu 
Qurayza only after the sun had set. At sunset, disputes arose. Some maintained 
that since the Messenger of God (SAAS) had told them not to pray the al-'asr 
unless it be at Banu Qurayza, there could be no sin in them complying. One 
group did pray out of their caution, while others refrained from praying until 
the sun had set, after which they prayed among Banu Qurayza; they too acted 
out of caution. The Messenger of God (SAAS) did not berate either one of the 
groups." 



1 60 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Also, al-Bayhaql related, through c Abd Allah al-^Umart, from his brother 
•Ubayd Allah, from al-Qasim b. Muhammad, from c A J isha, (who stated) that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) was with her, "... and while we were there inside the 
house, in came a man who greeted us. The Messenger of God (SAAS) got up in 
a fright, and I arose too; suddenly, there was Dihya al-Kalbi. He (the Messenger 
of God (SAAS)), said, 'This is Gabriel! He has ordered me to attack Banu 
Qurayza. He said to me, "You have put down your arms, but we have not."' We 
had pursued the polytheists until we reached Hamra 3 al-Asad, following the 
return of the Messenger of God (SAAS) from al-khandaq. So the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) arose in great concern and said to his Companions, 'I require you 
not to perform the al- c asr prayer until you arrive at Banu Qurayza.' The sun 
set before they reached them and one group of the Muslims thought that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had not wanted them to wait to say the prayer and 
so they prayed. Another group maintained that they were acting in accord with 
the requirement made by the Messenger of God (SAAS), and that they would 
not be considered guilty of a sin for not praying. And so one group did pray, in 
their faith and as a precaution, while another group did not, for the same reasons. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) did not berate any person from either group. 
He then went forth and as he passed by any group of people, on his way to Banu 
Qurayza, he would ask them, 'Did anyone pass by you?' They responded, 'Dihya 
al~Kalbl passed by on his grey mule, mounted on a piece of brocade cloth.' He 
responded, 'That was Gabriel; he has been sent to Banu Qurayza to shake them 
up, and to cast terror into them.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then besieged them, telling his Companions 
to protect him with their shields so that he could hear their response. He called 
out to them, 'Hey, you, you brothers of monkeys and pigs!' They replied, 'Abu 
al-Qasim, you used not to employ bad language!' 

"And so he besieged them until they came down, following the judgement of 
Sa<d b. Mu c adh, whose allies they were. He decreed for them that their warriors 
should be killed and that their children and women should become captive." 

This hadith has excellent lines of transmission from c A'isha and others. 

The scholars differ over which of the two groups was correct that day. In fact 
the consensus is that each of them was worthy and justified in their actions and 
not to be severely criticized. 

One group of scholars, however, maintains that those who postponed the 
prayer from its predetermined time until they could perform it among BanO 
Qurayza were correct, because their order to postpone it that day was specific 
and special and therefore should have been given precedence over the normal 
time for which it was determined under the law. 

Abu Muhammad b. Hazm al-Zahiri stated in his biography (of the Prophet 
(SAAS)), "God knows that had we been there we would not have performed the 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 161 

al- l asr prayer unless it had been among Banu Qurayza, even if it would have 
had to be several days thereafter!" 

This statement of his accords with the principle he holds fundamental, to act 
in accord with what is apparent. 

Another group of scholars considered, on the contrary, that those who 
performed the prayer at its regular time while they were travelling were the ones 
who were correct because they had understood that the intent was to hasten their 
journey to Banu Qurayza and not to postpone the prayer. They acted in accord 
with the precepts suggesting the superiority of prayer being performed at its 
proper time, even though they understood what the legislator had wanted. 
Because of this, he did not berate them or order them to repeat the prayer at the 
time to which it had been changed that day, as the others claimed. Those who did 
postpone it were forgiven, since they acted in accord with their understanding; 
most things they were ordered to do they did in fact accomplish. 

As for those who maintain that it is permissible to postpone prayer because of 
warfare - as al-Bukhart understood and justified from the hadith of Ibn 'Umar 
referred to previously - (in this case) neither those who performed the prayer 
earlier nor those who did so later ought to be considered suspect. But God knows 
best. 

Ibn Ishaq then stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) thereafter sent forward 
c All b. Abu Talib bearing his banner and the men hurried towards it." 

Musa b. c Uqba stated in his work on the maghazi, the military expeditions, 
quoting al-Zuhri, "While the Messenger of God (SAAS) was in his bathroom, 
so they claim, having combed out one side of his hair, Gabriel came to him 
riding a horse and dressed in his breast-plate. He halted at the door of the 
mosque where the funeral biers are placed. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
came out to him, whereupon Gabriel said, 'May God forgive you, have you put 
down your arms?' 'Yes,' he replied. Gabriel commented, 'Well, we've not put 
ours down ever since your enemy came at you; and I'm continuing to pursue 
them until God defeats them.' And they say that there was actually dust present 
upon Gabriel's face. He then went on to say, 'God commanded you to fight Banu 
Qurayza, and I will pursue them along with the angels accompanying me; we will 
make their fortresses shake around them. Go forth you too, with your men!' 

"And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) did follow after Gabriel. He passed 
by a seated group of Banu Ghanam who were awaiting the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), and he asked them whether a horseman had recently passed them. They 
replied that Dihya al-Kalbl had passed them on a white horse, seated on a 
saddle cloth or a piece of velvet brocade, and wearing his breast-plate. They say 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, 'That was Gabriel!' The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) used to liken Dihya al-Kalbi to Gabriel. He then said, 'Join me 
at where Banu Qurayza are, and perform the al-'-asr prayer among them.' 



1 62 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"And so they arose, along with those other Muslims God wished, and they set 
off for Banu Qurayza. The time for the al- l asr prayer eame while they were en 
route, and they remembered the prayer. Some of them asked others, 'Don't you 
know that the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered you to perform the al-^asr 
prayer among Banu Qurayza?' Others said, 'It's the prayer (time).' And so some did 
pray while others postponed it until they could perform it among Banu Qurayza, 
after the sun had set. They informed the Messenger of God (SAAS) which of 
them had performed it earlier and those who had postponed it, and people say 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) did not berate either of the two groups. 

"When c AIl saw the Messenger of God (SAAS) approaching, he met him 
and said to him, 'Go back, Messenger of God, God will take care of the Jews for 
you.' 'All had heard from them some ugly talk with reference to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) and his wives, may God be pleased with them, and he disliked 
for him to hear this. The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked him why he was 
advising him to go back, but c All concealed from him what he had heard of them. 
Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 'I think you have heard them 
say something harmful about me; I will go on, for if the enemies of God saw me 
they would not say any of what you heard.' 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) alighted at their fortresses, they being 
high above him, he addressed a group of their nobles at the top of his voice so that 
they could hear him saying, 'Respond, you tribe of Jews, you brothers of apes, 
for disgrace from God, Almighty and Glorious is He, has come down upon you!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then besieged them with legions of the 
Muslims for some ten nights. God had brought back Huyayy b. Akhtab and 
he had entered the forts of Banu Qurayza. God east terror into them, and the 
siege was very hard on them. They eventually shouted for Abu Lubaba b. c Abd 
al-Mundhir - they had been allied to the ansar - but Abu Lubaba stated, 'I will 
not go to them until the Messenger of God (SAAS) gives me permission.' The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) then gave him permission. 

"And so Abu Lubaba went to them and they complained to him and asked 
him what he thought they should do since they did not have the power to engage 
in warfare. Abu Lubaba gestured at his throat across which he brought his 
fingers, showing them that it was their execution that was wanted. 

"When Abu Lubaba left them, he was suddenly aghast, realizing that some 
urge had overcome him. He told himself that he could not look the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) in th^ face until he did some loyal act as repentance that God 
would appreciate. 

"And so he went back to Medina and tied his hands to one of the tree trunks 
(supporting the roof) of the mosque. It is said that he remained tied there for 
some 20 days. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, when Abu Lubaba absented himself, 
'Hasn't Abu Lubaba yet finished dealing with his allies?' When it was related to 
him what Abu Lubaba had done, he said, 'After (he left) me some urge overcame 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 163 

him; if he had come to me, I would have sought forgiveness for him. Since he 
has now done what he has, I will not move him from where he is until God 
decrees His will upon him.'" 

Ibn Lahi'a related this thus, from Abu al-Aswad, from 'Urwa. Muhammad b. 
Ishaq recounted this in this way in his work on the maghazi, in the same line of 
authorities as Musa b. IJqba, from al-Zuhrl, and (it appears) similarly in the 
account given by Abu al-Aswad from MJrwa. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) made camp at one of the 
wells of Banu Qurayza; called the Anna well; it was among properties they 
owned. He besieged them for 25 days, by which time the siege was causing them 
great hardship and much anxiety. 

"Huyayy b. Akhtab had joined them in their fortress when Quraysh and 
Ghatafan had withdrawn, thus fulfilling the pact he had made with Ka'b b. Asad. 
When they were sure that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had no intention of 
departing before he had utterly defeated them, Ka<b b. Asad addressed Banu 
Qurayza. He told them, 'You well know the crisis you face. I suggest three 
alternatives; choose the one you like best.' 'What are they?' they asked. He 
replied, 'First, that we follow and believe this man. I swear, it is clear to you 
now that he is a prophet who has been sent, and that it is he whom you find 
mentioned in your scripture. You should give him control over your lives, 
properties, children and women.' They replied, 'We will never abandon the law 
of the Torah, nor exchange it for another!' 

"He then said, 'If you refuse me this, let us kill our children and our women 
and then go forth to Muhammad and his companions with our swords drawn; 
that way we will not leave any responsibilities behind us, and God will decide 
between us and Muhammad. If we perish, we perish; but we won't be leaving 
behind any children to worry about. And if we are victorious, we'll certainly 
acquire other women and children.' 

"They replied, 'Shall we kill these unfortunates? What good would there be 
in living on after them?' 

"He continued, 'If you refuse this, then tonight it is the sabbath. It may well 
be that Muhammad and his men feel secure now. Let's go forth and seek to take 
Muhammad and his men by surprise.' 

"They replied, 'Should we desecrate our sabbath; if we do, there will befall 
that metamorphosis 3 ' you well know has always befallen those who have done so.' 

"He commented, 'Not one of you men has ever, since the day you were born, 
acted decisively.' 

"They then sent to the Messenger of God (SAAS), asking him to dispatch 
to them for consultations Abu Lubaba b. c Abd al-Mundhir, a brother of Banu 
c Amr b. c Awf who were allies of al-Aws. 

39. An allusion to the references in several places in the Qur>an to those who profaned the 
sabbath. See, for example, silrat al-Baqara; II, v.63. 



1 64 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"He did dispatch Abu Lubaba and when they saw him, the men arose to 
meet him. The women and children broke into sobs before him. He felt very 
sorry for them; they asked him whether they should submit to Muhammad's 
judgement. He said that they should. He then gestured with his hand across his 
neck, indicating that execution was coming. 

"Abu Lubaba (later) commented, 'I swear by God, my feet had not left that 
place before I knew I had betrayed God and His messenger. 

"Abu Lubaba then left hurriedly. He did not, however, return to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), but tied himself to one of the supports of the mosque, saying, 'I 
will not leave here until God forgives me for what I have done. I swear to God 
that I will never again go to Banu Qurayza, nor ever be seen again in any place 
where I have betrayed God and His messenger!'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "According to Sufyan b. IJyayna, quoting Isma c il b. Abu 
Khalid and c Abd Allah b. Abu Qatada, God revealed concerning this, 'O you 
who believe, do not betray God and His messenger; (and do not) knowingly 
break your trust'" (siirat al-Anfal; VIII, v.27). 

Ibn Hisham also stated, "He remained tied there for six days. His wife would 
come to him at each prayer time and untied him so that he could perform the 
ablutions and pray. He would then be tied up again. Eventually forgiveness did 
come down for him, in the Almighty's words, 'And others confessed their sins, 
having mixed good deeds with bad; God may well forgive them. God is indeed 
forgiving, merciful'" (surat al-Tawba or al-Bara 7 a; IX, v. 102). 

According to Musa b. "Uqba he remained bound for 20 days. But God knows 
best. 

Ibn Ishaq related that God revealed His forgiveness to His messenger at the 
very end of the night, while he was in the home of Umm Saiama. He began to 
smile and when Umm Saiama asked him why, he told her that God had forgiven 
Abu Lubaba. She asked his permission to leave to inform him. He agreed, and 
she went and told him the good news. People crowded around him joyfully, 
wishing to untie him from his bonds. But he said, "No one but the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) shall untie me." When the Messenger of God (SAAS) came out 
to perform the dawn prayer, he did untie him, may God be pleased with him. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Thereafter Tha'laba b. Sa c ya, Usayd b. Sa c ya and Asad b. 
c Ubayd, all of Banu Hadal and not from either Qurayza or al-Nadlr, their own 
pedigree being superior to that, they being Banu c Amm al-Qawm, accepted 
Islam that night during which Qurayza had come under the control of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"Also that night ( Ami b. Su^a al-Qurazi came out and passed by the guard of 
the Messenger of God (SAAS); Muhammad b. Maslama was in charge of them 
that night and when he saw c Amr, he called out and asked him his name, which 
he gave. c Amr had refused to participate in Banu Qurayza treachery towards the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), having said, 'I will never betray Muhammad!' When 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 165 

he recognized him, Muhammad b. Maslama said, 'O God, do not forbid me to 
set aside the minor sins of noble men!' He then let him pass. ( Amr then hurriedly 
left and spent that night in the mosque of the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
in Medina. Thereafter he departed for some still unknown destination. When 
what had happened to him was mentioned to the Messenger of God (SAAS), he 
commented, 'That is a man whom God saved because of his trustworthiness.' " 

He went on, "Some people claim that he was tied up with rope along with 
others of Banti Qurayza. The rope to which he had been tied was later found 
thrown away, and it was not known where he had gone. And it was then that 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) made the above statement about him. But God 
knows best which of the accounts is correct." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Next morning they came under the authority of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). Banu Aws promptly claimed that Banu Qurayza had 
been allied with them rather than with Khazraj. They also referred to how the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had given control over Banu Qurayza to <Abd Allah 
b. Ubayy when he had requested this, as is related above. 

"When Aws had spoken to him, the Messenger of God (SAAS) responded to 
them, 'O Aws, will you be content to have one of your men decide about them?' 
When they agreed to this, he placed them under the charge of Sa<d b. Mu^dh. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) had placed Sa<d b. Mu'adh inside his mosque 
in a tent belonging to an Aslam woman named Rufayda; she was caring for 
the wounded. When he placed Sa<d in charge of Banu Qurayza, his people 
approached him and mounted him on a donkey bearing a leather cushion; he 
was a handsome, large man. They then brought him to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), telling him to treat his charges kindly, since it was with that expectation 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had appointed him over them. When they 
insisted upon this, he responded, 'It is now time for Sa c d to take no account of 
anyone's criticism for what he does in God's cause!' One of those of his people 
who was accompanying him returned to Banu c Abd al-Ashhal and told them of 
the death of the men of Bantl Qurayza even before Sa c d reached them, because 
of what he had heard him say. 

"When Sa'd arrived at where the Messenger of God (SAAS) and the 
Muslims were, the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Arise to greet your master.' 
The Quraysh muhajirin, said he was referring to the ansar, while the latter 
thought that his order had been directed towards all the Muslims, and so they 
stood up. They told him, 'Abu { Amr, the Messenger of God (SAAS) has 
delegated to you the question of deciding what to do with your charges.' Sa^ 
replied, 'Is it your duty to swear by a pact with God that whatever decision 
I reach about them will be enforced?' 'Yes,' they agreed. Sa c d then asked, 
'And does that apply to him who is over here?' He was referring to the direction 
where the Messenger of God (SAAS) was, while looking away from him out 
of his respect for him. The Messenger of God (SAAS) answered, 'Yes.' 
Sa c d then said, 'I therefore decree that the men among them shall be executed, 



1 66 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

while their properties shall be liquidated and their offspring and women shall 
be taken captive.' " 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " c Asim b. IJmar b. Qatada related to me, from c Abd 
al-Rahman b. Vmar b. Sa<d b. Mu'adh, from c Alqama b. Waqqas al-Laythi, 
who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) said to Sa c d, 'You have judged them 
with the decision of God, from seven heavens above.' " 

Ibn Hisham stated, "A reliable scholar related to me that ( Ali b. Abu Talib 
exclaimed as they were besieging Banu Qurayza, 'O Army of the Faith!' He and 
al-Zubayr b. al^Awwam then advanced and c All said, 'I will taste what Hamza 
tasted, or I will storm their fortress!' But they replied, 'Muhammad! We will 
submit to the judgement of Sa^ b. Mu^dh.'" 

Imam Ahmad stated that Muhammad b. Ja c far related to him, quoting Shu'ba, 
from Sa c d b. Ibrahim, quoting Abu Umama b. Sahl, who said, "I heard Abu 
Said al-Khudrl say, 'Banu Qurayza agreed to submit to the authority of Sa c d b. 
Mu'adh. So the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent for Sa^ who came to him on 
a donkey. When he drew near the mosque, the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 
"Stand up for your master" (or "your better"). He then said, "These people have 
submitted to your authority." He (Sa<d) stated, "We shall execute their warriors 
and take their children prisoner." The Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 
"You have given judgement with God's decree." He may have said, "You have 
given judgement with the malik's ('the ruler's') decree." According to another 
account, the word used was malak, "angel".'" 

In both sahih collections it is derived by various lines of authority from 
Shu<ba. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Hujayn and Yunus related to us, saying, 'Al-Layth b. 
Sa^ related to us, from Abo al-Zubayr, from Jabir b. { Abd Allah, who said, "At 
the battle of al-Ahzab an arrow was shot at Sa^ b. Mu'adh and the medial vein 
in his arm was severed. The Messenger of God (SAAS) cauterized it with fire. 
Sard's hand then swelled up and he bled it. Seeing this, Sa<d said, 'O God, do 
not extract my soul before you settle Banu Qurayza for me.' At this the flow 
ceased, with not another drop falling, until Banu Qurayza submitted to Sa^'s 
authority. A message was sent to him to this effect and he decreed that their men 
should be executed and that their women and children should be made captive 
and should serve the Muslims. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'You have 
correctly given God's judgement regarding them.' They were 400 in number. 
When their execution was over, Sard's artery burst and he died."'" 

Both al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa 1 ! related this from Qutayba, back to al-Layth 
Al-Tirmidhl categorized it as hasan sakik, "good and authentic". 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Ibn Numayr related to us, from Hisham, saying, 'My 
father quoted "A'isha to me as having said, "When the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) came back from the Battle of al-Ahzab and had put down his arms and 
bathed, Gabriel, his face dust-covered, came to him and said, 'So, you've put 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 167 

down your arms! I swear by God, we have not! Go out and battle them!' The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 'Where to?' 'Over here,' Gabriel responded, 
gesturing towards Banu Qurayza. And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) went 
forth against them."' Hisham stated, 'My father informed me that they accepted 
the authority of the Prophet (SAAS) over them and that he then delegated 
that authority to Sa^. He then stated, "I judge that the warriors be executed, 
that their women and offspring be taken captive and that their properties be 
divided up."'" 

Hisham went on, "My father stated further, 'I was told that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) said, "You have judged them by God's judgement."'" 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Zakariyya b. Yahya related to us, quoting c Abd Allah b. 
Numayr, quoting Hisham, from his father, from c A 5 isha, who said, 'At al-khandaq 
Sa^ was wounded. One of Quraysh, a man named Hibban b. c Ariqa, shot an 
arrow at him and hit him in the main vein in his arm. The Prophet (SAAS) set 
up a tent for him in the mosque so that he could visit him from nearby. When 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) had returned from al-khandaq and had put 
down his weapons and had bathed, Gabriel, shaking dust off his head, came to 
him and said, "So, you have put down your weapons? I swear by God, I've not 
done that! Go forth against them!" The Prophet (SAAS) asked, "Where to?" 
Gabriel then gestured towards Banu Qurayza. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
then did go out against them and they accepted his authority; he then delegated 
this authority to Sa<d. The latter decreed, "I judge that their Warriors be executed, 
that their women and offspring be taken captive and that their properties be 
divided up.""' 

Hisham went on, "My father quoted c A'isha as saying that Sa^ stated, 'O 
God, You well know that there is no one I would rather fight on your behalf than 
a people who have called Your messenger a liar and have exiled him. O God, I 
believe You have put an end to warfare between us and them. Give me life for so 
long as there is any warfare against Quraysh, so that I may fight against them for 
You. And if You have brought the war to an end, recommence it and place my 
death therein.' Then there was an explosive emission from his upper chest, but 
this did not alarm anyone. But there was a tent (for the wounded) belonging to 
Banu Ghifar in the mosque. And, when the blood began streaming down towards 
them, they shouted, 'Hey, you in the tent, what is this coming down to us from 
you?' It was from Sa c d; his wound was streaming blood and he died of it." 

This was related by Muslim from a hadith of <Abd Allah b. Numayr. 

I would comment that Sa<d first spoke this prayer before he passed judgement 
on Banu Qurayza. This is why he prayed that his death not occur before he 
had settled with Banu Qurayza, And God did answer his prayer. After issuing 
his judgement on them, and God had pleased him greatly thereby, he prayed a 
second time in this way and God then gave him martyrdom, may God be pleased 
with him and give him pleasure. Reference to his death will come shortly, if 
God so wills it. 



168 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Imam Ahmad related it also from another line at great length; in that account 
there are other interesting aspects. He stated that Yazid related to him that 
Muhammad b. ( Amr narrated to him, from his father, from his father c Alqama 
b. Waqqas, who said, " c A'isha stated to me as follows, 'I was leaving on the day 
of the battle of al-khandaq, following after our forces, when I heard the sound 
of movement behind me. Then I saw it was Sa^ b. Mu'adh, accompanied by his 
brother al-Harith b. Aws, carrying his child. I sat down on the ground and Sa*d 
passed by, wearing an iron coat of mail from which his arms and legs protruded. 
I was concerned about injury to these limbs of Sa^; Sa^ was one of the greatest 
and tallest of men. As he passed, he was speaking the verse, 

"Remain awhile; let Hamal see the battle. How fine is 
death when its time has come!" ' " 

She continued, "I got up and ran into a garden. There I found a group of 
Muslims; among them were ^Umar b. al-Khattab. One of the men had on a 
subgha" (by which she meant a mighfar, a "helmet"). "'Umar asked, 'Why are 
you here? I swear, you're bold! What's to protect you if some disaster should 
happen or you got cut off?' He went on criticizing me until I wished the earth 
would open to swallow me on the spot! Then the man lifted the helmet off his 
face and I saw that it was Talha b. c Ubayd Allah. He commented, 'Hey, ^mar, 
shame on you! You're overdoing it! From today on, whatever aligning or taking 
refuge there is will be to God, Almighty and Glorious is He!'" 

'A'isha went on, "Then a Quraysh man named Ibn al-<Ariqa shot at Sa ( d, 
saying, 'Take that! I'm Ibn al- c Ariqa!' It struck and severed the main artery 
in his arm. Sa { d then prayed, 'O God, do not make me die before you give me' 
satisfaction over Banu Qurayza!' These people had been his allies and colleagues 
before Islam. Then his wound stopped bleeding and God sent the gale against 
the polytheists and spared the believers engaging in battle; God is indeed 
powerful, strong. Abu Sufyan and his force then went to Tihama, while TJyayna 
b. Badr and his force withdrew to Najd. 

"Banu Qurayza then returned home and sought protection in their fortresses. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) returned to Medina where he ordered a leather 
tent be set up in the mosque for Sa ( d. Then Gabriel came, the folds of his 
clothing covered with dust, and he said, 'Have you put down your weapons, 
then? By God, the angels haven't put down their weapons yet. Go forth and do 
battle with Banu Qurayza!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then put on his breast-plate and had it 
announced that the men should prepare to depart for battle. He passed by Banu 
Ghanam who were his neighbours close by the mosque. He asked them, 'Who 
was it passed by you?' They replied, 'Dihya al-Kalbl went by.' Now Dihya 
al-Kalbi was similar in beard, age and face to Gabriel, upon whom be peace. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) proceeded on to Banu Qurayza and besieged 
them for 25 days. When their suffering from the siege grew intense, a message 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA C IL IBN KATHIR 169 

was sent telling them to accept the authority of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 
They sought advice from Abu Lubaba b. <Abd al-Mundhir, and he made a sign 
to them indicating execution. Banu Qurayza then said they would accept the 
authority of Sa<d b. Mu<adh. The Messenger of God (SAAS) told them, 'Then 
do accept the authority of Sa<d b. Mu'adh!' He was brought to him on a donkey, 
seated on a saddle stuffed with palm fronds and with his people all around 
him, who were telling him, 'Abu c Amr, they are your allies and colleagues, your 
family in times of crisis, people you know well.' But Sa c d did not respond 
to them at all, nor did he turn towards them. When he arrived close by the 
homes of Banti Qurayza, he turned to his entourage and said, 'It's time for me to 
disregard any possible criticism in serving God!'" 

c A 5 isha went on, "Abu Sa'id said that when he appeared, the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) told them, 'Arise for your master and help him dismount!' At this 
'Umar commented, 'Our "master" is God!' (But) he said, 'Help him dismount.' 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, 'Render your judgement over them,' 
Sa^d responded, 'I decree that their warriors be executed, their offspring be 
taken captive, and their properties be divided up.' The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) commented, 'Your decree accords with the judgement of God and with 
that of His messenger.' 

"Thereupon, Sa 4 d spoke the following prayer, 'O God, if you have left 
for Your prophet any further warfare against Quraysh, then let me remain for 
it. But if You have now ended the warfare between him and them, then take me 
to Yourself.'" 

'A'isha went on, "His wound then burst; up to then he had been free of it, 
nothing being visible except for a small circular spot. He went back to the tent 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had set up for him. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) went to him, along with Abu Bakr and "Umar. And I swear by Him in 
whose hands is Muhammad, that I could well differentiate the weeping of c Umar 
from that of Abu Bakr while I was there in my room. They were, as God said, 
'... compassionate among themselves' "(sural at-Fath; XL VIII, v.29). 

c Alqama stated, "I then asked, 'How did the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
react?' c A'isha replied, 'His eyes never wept for anyone. However, if he was deeply 
moved, he would take hold of his beard.'" 

The chain of authorities for this hadith is excellent, and there are testimonials 
to its veracity from other sources. In it there is the clear statement that Sa c d 
prayed twice, once before he passed judgement on Banu Qurayza, and once 
thereafter, as we stated earlier. And all praise and credit go to God. We will 
report, after finishing the narrative, the manner of his death and burial, and the 
credit to him therefore, may God be pleased with him and give him pleasure. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "They (Banu Qurayza) were then brought down and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) imprisoned them in the home of the daughter of 
al-Harith, a woman of Banu al-Najjar." 



1 70 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

I comment that the reference is to the daughter of al-Harith b. Kurz b. Habib 
b. c Abd Shams; she was the wife of Musaylima al-Kadhdhab, w who had by her 
a son named c Abd Allah b. c Amir b. Kuriz. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went out into the Medina 
market and had some trenches dug. Then he sent for BanQ Qurayza men to have 
their heads severed in those trenches. They came out in groups. Among them 
was that enemy of God Huyayy b. Akhtab, along with Ka'b b. Asad, their leader. 
They were 600 or 700 in number. Some estimate their number to have been as 
many as 800 or 900." 

I comment that according to al-Layth, quoting Abu al-Zubayr from Jabir, as 
given above, they numbered 400. But God knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "As they were being taken in groups to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), they asked Ka'b b. Asad, 'Ka'b, what do you think he will do 
to us?' He replied, 'Will you not understand anywhere? Can't you see that the 
one calling never stops, and that those of you who go never return? It means, by 
God, execution!' 

"This continued until he had finished with them, Huyayy b. Akhtab was 
brought to him wearing a flowered robe all over which he had made finger-size 
holes so that it not be taken from him; his hands were drawn up and tied by a 
rope to his neck. When he looked over at the Messenger of God (SAAS) he said, 
'Well, I swear by God, I don't blame myself for being your enemy, but whoever 
abandons God will be abandoned!' 

"He then went forward to the men and said, 'O people, there is no harm in the 
command of God; a decree, fate and a massacre have been written by God 
against Banu Israel!' He then sat down and he was struck in the neck. 

"Jabal b. Jawwal al-Tha^abi then spoke the verses, 

'By your life, I swear that it was not himself that Ibn 
Akhtab blamed, but whoever abandons God will be 
abandoned 

He strove hard, pushing himself to the limits, exerting 
himself vigorously to achieve glory.'" 

Ibn Ishaq then related the story of al-Zubayr b. Bata, an old man who had 
become blind. "At the battle of Bu c ath he had been given over to the charge of 
Thabit b. Qays b. Shammas who had cut off his forelock. On this day Thabit 
had wanted to repay him, 41 so he went to al-Zubayr and asked, 'Do you know me, 
Abu c Abd al-Rahman?' 'Would the like of me not know the like of you?' he 
responded. Thabit then said, 'I want to pay you back!' 'Well,' replied al-Zubayr, 
'an honourable man would repay an honourable man.' 

40. Musaylima al-Kadhdhab, i.e. "the great impostor" of Yamama and a leader of Banu Hanlfa, 
claimed prophethood for himself following the death of the Messenger of God, (SAAS). He was 
ultimately defeated and killed by the Muslims in 12 AH, supra, p.25n. 

41 . Ibn Kathlr here omits from his narrative the important fact given in Ibn Ishaq 's account that 
al-Zubayr had spared Thabit's life on an earlier occasion, before the coming of Islam. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 171 

"Thabit then went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and asked permission 
to release him, and he did release al-Zubayr b. Bata. When he informed him of 
this, al-Zubayr responded, 'What would an old man who would have no son 
and no family do with his life?' Thabit then returned to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and asked him to restore to the man his wife and his son, and to this he 
agreed. When he returned to al-Zubayr with this news, the old man now said, 
'What's to become of a household in Hijaz that has no property; how eould they 
survive?' Again Thabit went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and asked that the 
property of al-Zubayr be released to him, and he did so. 

"When he went back and told him this, al-Zubayr asked, 'Thabit, what became 
of Ka^ b. Asad, whose face was like a Chinese mirror that reflects the faces of 
the tribe's virgins?' 'He has been killed,' he replied. 

" 'And what of our vanguard in the attack and our protector in flight, c Azal 
b. Shamwal?' 'He has been killed,' Thabit replied. 

" 'What became of the two counsel' - meaning that of Banti Ka<b b. Qurayza 
and Banu c Amr b. Qurayza. 'They have dispersed and been killed,' he replied. 

"'I ask you then, Thabit, by your obligation to me, to let me join my own 
people. There is no good in life for me now that they have gone and I can't stand 
postponing joining my loved ones for so long as it would take to fill and empty A 
bucket being borne along by a camel!' 

"At this Thabit went over to him and cut off his head. 

"When al-Zubayr's phrase 'joining my loved ones' reached Abu Bakr, the 
trusting, he commented, 'He'll meet them, by God, in the fire of hell where he 
will dwell for ever!' " 

Ibn Ishaq used the word fayla in his account, to refer to the filling of a 
bucket; Ibn Hisham said the word should be qabla. Regarding the word used for 
camel here, nadih, Ibn Hisham said it referred to a camel that bears water used 
to irrigate date-palms. 

Abu ^bayda, however, said that the word refers to the emptying of a bucket. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) had ordered the execution 
of all of their adults. Shu<ba b. al-Hajjaj related to me, from c Abd al-Mahk 
b. ^mayr, from c Atiyya al-Qurazi, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
ordered that all grown-up Banu Qurayza should be executed. I was a youth and 
since they decided I was not fully grown they let me go.'" 

Authorities of all four sunan* 1 codices of hadlth relate this account from <Abd 
al-Malik b. 'Umayr, from c AtIyya al-Qurazl, with similar wording. 

Certain scholars make reference to this who maintain that establishing the 
presence of coarse hair in the genital region proves maturity. Indeed this does 
constitute maturity in the most authoritative statements on the subject made by 
al-ShafR 

42. The term used here, ashSb al-siman, refers to the four authoritative codices of kadith from 
among the sihah collections. Their authors were al-Tirrnidhl, Abu Da'ud, Ibn Majah and al-Nasa 5 l. 



172 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

There are some scholars who differentiate Muslim from non-Muslim youths, 
saying that that can indicate maturity, but only in the case of the latter. This 
is because a Muslim (youth) may be disadvantaged to some purpose because 
of that. 

Ishaq recounted from Ayytlb b. c Abd al-Rahman, that Salma, daughter of 
Qays, mother of al-Mundhir, had asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) to 
release Rifa^a b. Shamwal, who was adult and had taken refuge with her; he 
had known them before this. He (the Messenger of God (SAAS)), did release 
him for her. She had said, "Messenger of God, Rifa'a claims that he will pray and 
eat camels' meat." And so he granted her wish and released him. 

Ibn Ishaq stated that it was related to him by Muhammad b. Ja c far b. al-Zubayr, 
from <Urwa, from c A 5 isha, who said, "He only executed one of their women. She 
was talking with me and laughing heartily all the time the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was executing her menfolk in the market-place. Then a voice called 
out asking where was so-and-so. She exclaimed, 'It's me, by God!' I asked her, 
'For pity's sake, what's wrong?' She said, 'I'm to be killed!' 'Why?' I asked. 'For 
something I did,' she told me. Then she was taken away and beheaded." 

The account continues, "'A'isha used to say, 'I swear, I'll never forget how 
high-spirited she was and how much she laughed when she knew she was to 
be killed.'" 

Imam Ahmad related this the same way, from Ya'qub b. Ibrahim, from his 
father, from Muhammad b. Ishaq. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "It was she who had thrown down the millstone on to 
Khallad b. Suwayd and had killed him." He is inferring that it was for him that 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) had her executed. 

Ibn Ishaq stated elsewhere, "He named her as Nabata, wife of al-Hakam 
al-Qurazi." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then divided up among 
the Muslims the property, wives and children of Banu Qurayza, after he had 
taken out one-fifth. He awarded each horseman three shares, two for the 
horse and one for its rider. He gave one share to each foot soldier. The horses 
numbered thirty-six at that battle. This was the first time the booty was divided 
into division of two shares and the first in which it was divided into five 
parts. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) dispatched Sa c id b. Zayd with the captives 
taken from Banu Qurayza to Najd, where he sold them in exchange for horses 
and weapons. The Messenger of God (SAAS) had chosen for himself one of 
their women, Rayhana, daughter of c Amr b. Khanafa, of Banu c Amr b. Qurayza. 
He stayed intimate with her until he died, she still being at that time in his 
household. The Messenger of God (SAAS) had suggested that she accept 
Islam, but she had refused. Eventually she did accept Islam and this brought 
great pleasure to him. He suggested releasing and marrying her, but she chose to 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 173 

continue in slavery, considering that easier for her. She remained with him 
until the Messenger of God (SAAS) died." 43 

Ibn Ishaq then commented upon the verses of the Qur'an that relate to the 
battle of al~khandaq, from early in sural al-Ahzdb. We have given reference and 
explanation to that in our Tafsir (Exegesis), and to God be all praise and credit. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Those Muslims martyred in the conflict with Banu Qurayza 
were Khallad b. Suwayd b. Thalaba b. c Amr al-KhazrajI, who was crushed when 
a millstone was cast down on him. They claim that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
said, 'He will receive the reward of two martyrs.'" 

I would observe that it was that woman mentioned above, the only woman 
of Banu Qurayza executed, who had thrown the stone down at him. But God 
knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Abu Sinan b. Mihsan b. Hurthan of Banu Asad b. Khuzayma 
died while the Messenger of God (SAAS) was besieging Banu Qurayza; he was 
buried in their cemetery that (same) day." 



THE DEATH OF SAW B. MW-ADH, MA Y GOD BE PLEASED WITH HIM. 

It has been related above that Hibban b. al- c Ariqa, God damn him, had shot an 
arrow at him and struck him in the vein of his arm. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) then cauterized him with fire and stopped up the wound. Sa<d prayed to 
God not to make him die before he had been relieved of Banu Qurayza. This 
occurred following their breaking of the pacts and agreements they had made 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS) and their alignment with the ahzab, the 
enemy clans. When the latter withdrew, dispersing away from Medina, Banu 
Qurayza were totally left to disaster, both on earth and in the after-life. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went to them and besieged them, as told above. 
When they were in real suffering, beset from all sides, they decided to submit to 
the authority of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to do with them as ever God 
wished. He delegated that authority to the chief of Aws, who had been allied 
with them before the coming of Islam; he was Sa c d b. Mu'adh. Banu Qurayza 
were pleased with this. It is said that they initially gave themselves over to Sard's 
authority because they had high hopes of his kindness and partiality towards 
them. They did not know that they were more hateful in his view than the apes 
and pigs that were their peers! This was because of the intensity of his faith, and 
his high trust. May God be pleased with him and give him pleasure. 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent for him; Sa<d was in a tent in the 
mosque. He was brought on a donkey riding on a soft saddle placed under him 
because of his injury. When he drew near the tent of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), the latter ordered all there to rise for him. It was said that this was 
so that he would dismount because of the severity of his injury; also it was said 

43. The latter part of this paragraph, apparently a paraphrase of Ibn IshSq ? s account, seems to 
contradict what was stated earlier. 



1 74 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

that this was to accord him respect in the presence of those about whom he was 
to decide, so that he would be more effective in carrying out his judgement. But 
God knows best. 

When he decreed death and captivity for them and God had pleased and 
satisfied him by relieving him of them, and he had returned to the tent in the 
mosque accompanied by the Messenger of God (SAAS), he prayed to God 
the Almighty and Glorious that he have martyrdom. And God had chosen his 
reward; his wound burst open that night. Blood went on escaping from him until 
he died. May God be pleased with him. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Banu Qurayza affair was concluded, the wound of 
Sa^ b. Mu'adh burst open and he died of it, a martyr. 

"Mu<adh b. Rifa c a al-Zurqi related to me as follows, 'It was related to me by 
whomever you like of my people, that Gabriel, wearing an embroidered turban, 
came to the Messenger of God (SAAS), when SaM b. Mu%dh was taken late 
at night. He said, "Muhammad, who is that dead man for whom the gates of 
heaven were opened and for whom the throne shook?" 

"'The Messenger of God (SAAS) arose hurriedly, dragging his clothing 
behind him, and went to Sa<d, whom he found to have died; may God be pleased 
with him.'" 

This is how Ibn Ishaq related this. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaqi stated in his DalaHl (The Signs), "Abu c Abd Allah 
al-Hafiz related to us, from Abu al- c Abbas Muhammad b. Ya'qub, from 
Muhammad b. c Abd Allah b. c Abd al-Hakam, who said, 'My father and Shu<ayb 
b. al-Layth related to us as follows, "Al-Layth b. Sa*d related to us, from Yazld b. 
al-Hadd, from Mu*adh b. Rifa<a, from Jabir b. ( Abd Allah, who said, 'Gabriel came 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and asked, "Who is that fine worshipper of 
God who, when he died, had the gates of heaven opened up for him, and for 
whom the throne moved?'" 

"'He went on, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) went out and found it was 
Sa c d b. Mu'adh. The Messenger of God (SAAS) sat down by his grave as he 
was being buried. While thus seated, he twice recited, subhana Allah, "God be 
praised". So everyone said the same. He then spoke the words, "Allahu Akbarl 
Allahu Akbar\ God is most Great! God is most great!". So everyone spoke 
the same. Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "I was amazed at this fine 
worshipper who was constrained in his grave until this (time), when he was 
relieved."""" 

Imam Ahmad and al-Nasa'l related, quoting a line of transmission through 
Yazid b. <Abd Allah b. Usama b. al-Hadd, and Yahya b. Sa'ld, from Mu<adh b. 
Rifaca, from Jabir, who stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) said to Sa<d 
the day he died and while he was being buried, 'Praise be to God for this fine 
man for whom the throne of the All-Merciful moved, and for whom the gates of 
heaven were opened; he was constrained, and then God released him."' 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 175 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "Mu^dh b. Rifa^a related to me, from Mahmud 
b. c Abd al-Rahman b. c Amr b. Jumuh, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, who said, 'We 
were there while Sa'd was being buried, in the company of the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), who spoke the invocation subhana Allah, God be praised, which 
was repeated by all there. He then said Allahu Akbar\ God is most Great, and 
everyone joined him in saying this. Then they asked him, 'Why did you praise 
God, Messenger of God?' He replied, 'His grave constrained this fine man until 
God relieved him.' " 

Imam Ahmad related it thus, from Ya<qub b. Ibrahim b. Sa*d, from his father, 
from Ibn Ishaq. 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The figurative meaning of this hadith is shown in 
•A^isha's words, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, "The grave constrains; 
if anyone were to escape from it, it would be Sa<d b. Mu'adh."'" 

I would comment that this hadith is given by Imam Ahmad as follows, "Yahya 
related to us, from Shu'ba, from Sa^i b. Ibrahim, from Nafi ( , from c A 5 isha, from 
the Prophet (SAAS), who said, 'The grave exerts pressure; if anyone were to 
escape from that, it would be Sa<d b. Mu'adh.' " 

The line of authorities for this hadith would meet the criteria for the two 
sahih collections, except for the fact that Imam Ahmad related it from Ghundar, 
from Shu'baj from Sa c d b. Ibrahim, from "a person", from ^'isha. 

The hafiz al-BstzzzT related it from Nafi c , from Ibn { Umar. He said, " c Abd 
al-A^a b. Hammad related to us, quoting Da'ud, from <Abd al-Rahman (who 
said), <c Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar related to us, from Nafi c , who quoted Ibn ^mar 
as saying, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, 'The day Sa c d b. Mu'adh died 
70,000 angels descended to earth; they had never done so before. The grave was 
severely constraining him!' Then Nafi ( wept." '" 

This chain of authorities is excellent. However, al-Bazzar said, "Others related 
this from <Ubayd Allah from Nafi c , but with an incomplete chain. 

Al-Bazzar also narrated it, from Sulayman b. Sayf, from Abu c Itab, from 
Sukayn b. <Abd Allah b. <Abd al-Rahman b. Zayd b. al-Khattab, from Nafi<, 
from Ibn IJmar, who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, 'seventy 
thousand angels who had never before touched the earth came down at the 
death of Sa^ b. Mu'adh.' And as he was being buried, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) also said, 'Praise be to God! if anyone escaped the pressure of the grave, 
it was Say.'" 

Al-Bazzar stated, "Isma c il b. Hafs related to us, from Muhammad b. Fudayl, 
quoting c Ata° b. al-Sa^ib, from Mujahid, from Ibn Umar, who said, 'The al- c arsh, 
the throne, shook at the pleasure of God's meeting Sa c d b. Mu^dh.' It is said 
that he meant the al-sarir, the couch. (As is the case in the following verse.) 'And 
he raised his two parents up on to the al-<-arsff (surat Yusuf, XII, v. 100). As 
for the shaking, that referred to its frame. He went on, 'And the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) went into his grave and stayed there awhile. When he emerged, he 
was asked, "Messenger of God, what kept you?" He replied, "Sa*d was very 



1 7 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

much constrained in the grave; and so I prayed to God, and it was widened for 
him.'"" 

AI-Bazzar stated, " c Ata 5 b. al-Sa'ib was alone in giving this hadith.'''' I would 
observe that it was who was being addressed in this matter. 

Al-BayhaqI, may God be pleased with him, following his having told how 
constrained Sa^d, God be pleased with him, was by the grave, related a strange 
tradition about it. He said, "Abu c Abd Allah al-Hafiz related to us, quoting Abu 
al- c Abbas, quoting Ahmad b. c Abd al-Jabbar, quoting Yunus, from Ibn Ishaq, 
who said, 'Umayya b. c Abd Allah related to me that he asked some of Sa ( d's 
family, "What have you heard that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said on this 
subject?" They replied, "We were told that the Messenger of God (SAAS) was 
asked about that and said, 'He' (Sa^) 'would cut short some of the ablutions 
for urination.""" 

Al-Bukharl stated, "Muhammad b. al-Muthanna related to us, quoting al-Fadl 
b. Musawir, quoting Abu Mu'awiya, from al-A'mash, from Abu Sufyan, from 
Jabir, who said, 'I heard the Prophet (SAAS) say, "The throne shook at the death 
ofSayb.Mu'adh.""' 

Also from aI-A c mash, "Abu Salih related to us, from Jabir, from the Prophet 
(SAAS) the same words. A man asked Jabir, 'How is it that al-Bara 5 b. 'Azib 
says (that the statement was) "the al-sarir, the couch, shook?" He (Jabir) replied, 
"There was some animosity between these two tribes; I heard the Prophet (SAAS) 
say, 'The al- c arsh, the throne, of the al-Rahman, the Merciful One, shook at the 
death of Sa<d b. Mu<adh.' 

Muslim related this, from c Amr al-Naqid, from <Abd Allah b. Idris and Ibn 
Maja, from c All b. Muhammad, from Abu Mu'awiya, both of whom quoted 
al-A c mash. Their version does not add anything to the account as given by 
al-A c mash from Abu Salih, from Jabir. 

Ahmad stated, ""Abd al-Razzaq related to us, from Ibn Jurayj, 'Abu al-Zubayr 
informed me that he heard Jabir b. ( Abd Allah say, "I heard the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) say, while the bier of Sa<d b. Mu^adh was there in front of them, 
'The throne of the Merciful One shook for it.""" 

Muslim related it from c Abd b. Humayd, as did al-Tirmidhi from Mahmud 
b. Ghaylan, both quoting c Abd al-Razzaq. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Yahya b. Sa c id related to us, quoting c Awf, quoting 
Abu Nadra (who said) 'I heard Abu Sa c ld quote the Prophet (SAAS) as having 
said, "The throne shook at the death of Sa^ b. Mu^dh.'"" 

Al-Nasa'i related it from Ya'qub b. Ibrahim, from Yahya. 

Ahmad stated, " c Abd al-Wahhab related to us, from Sa c ld, (who quoted) Qatada 
as saying, 'Anas b. Malik related to us that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
said, his bier having been put down, "The throne of the Merciful One shook 
for it."'" 

Muslim related it from Muhammad b. c Abd Allah al-Azdi, from c Abd 
al-Wahhab. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA qL IBN KATHI R 1 77 

AL-Bayhaq! narrated from a hadith of al-Mu c tamir b. Sulayman, from his 
father, from al-Hasan al-Basri, who said, "The throne of the Merciful One 
shook with joy for his spirit." 

The hafiz zl-YHazT&s: stated, "Zuhayr b. Muhammad related to us, quoting 
c Abd al-Razzaq, quoting Ma c mar, from Qatada, from Anas, who said, 'When 
Sa<d's bier was carried, the hypocrites said, "How light his bier is! That's due 
to his having passed judgement over Band Qurayza." The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was asked about this, and he said, "No; but the angels carried him." ' " 

(This has) an excellent line of transmission. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Muhammad b. Bashshar related to us, quoting Ghundar, 
quoting Shu*ba, from Abu Ishaq (who said), 'I heard al-Bara 5 b. c Azib say, "I was 
presented with a silk robe for the Prophet (SAAS), and his Companions began 
touching it and admiring its softness. He said, 'Are you admiring the softness 
of this? The kerchiefs of Sa"d b. Mu<adh are better than them, or softer.""" 

He (the source) then said, "Qatada related this, as did al-Zuhrl who reported 
hearing it from Anas, from the Prophet (SAAS)." 

Ahmad stated, ' (< Abd al-Wahhab related to us, from Sa^d, he being the son 
of Abu ^Uruba, from Qatada, from Anas b. Malik, that Ukaydir Duma made a 
present of ajubba, a long outer garment, to the Messenger of God (SAAS); this 
was before the wearing of silk was prohibited. He put it on and when people 
admired it, he said, 'By Him in whose hands is my soul, the kerchiefs of Sa c d in 
heaven are finer than this!'" 

This hadith accords with the criteria of both al-Bukhaii and Muslim, but they 
did not include it, Al-Bukharl, however, quoted it as commentary. 

Ahmad stated that Yazld quoted Muhammad b. c Amr as follows, "Waqid b. 
c Amr b. Sa*d b. Mu'adh related to me (and Muhammmad said that Waqid was 
one of the finest, best and tallest of men) as follows, 'I went in to Anas b. Malik 
and he asked me who I was. I replied that I was Waqid, son of c Amr, the son of 
Sa ( d b. Muadh. He then said, "You take after Sa^." He then wept copiously, 
saying, "May God grant Sa^ His mercy! He was one of the finest and tallest of 
men." He then went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) dispatched an army 
out to fight Ukaydir Duma, who sent to him zjubba of brocade woven with gold 
thread. The Messenger of God (SAAS) put it on, went up on to the minbar, the 
pulpit, and sat down without speaking. He then came down again. People felt 
and gazed admiringly at the jubba, and the Messenger of God (SAAS) asked 
them, 'So you admire this then? The kerchiefs of Sa<d b. Mu'adh in heaven are 
much finer than what you can now see.""" 

Al-Tirmidhi related it thus, as did al-Nas&'l, from a hadith of Muhammad b. 
c Amr. Al-Tirmidhi classified it as hasan sahih, "good and authentic". 

After making reference to the throne having shaken after the death of Sa c d 
b. Mu'adh, Ibn Ishaq went on to quote a line of verse from one of the ansar, the 
Helpers: 



178 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"The only person whose death we ever heard caused the 
throne of God to shake was Sa^ b. Mu'adh," 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "His mother - Kubaysha, daughter of Rafi* b. Mu'awiya b. 
"Ubayd b. Tha^aba al-Khudariyya al-Khazrajiyya, that is - spoke the following 
elegy when Sa'd was being borne away on his bier, 

'Sa^'s mother grieves for Sa^, the fierce and 
impetuous, 

A man of leadership and glory, an eager knight. 

He would fill every breach, active in cutting off enemy 
heads.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'All mourning women 
exaggerate — except for she who mourned for Sa<d b. Mu^adh!'" 

I would comment that Sa^'s death came some 25 days after the withdrawal 
of the ahzMb, the enemy clans. They had assembled in Shawwal of 5 AH, as 
is told above, and remained there for approximately 1 month. Thereafter, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth and besieged Banu Qurayza for some 
25 days. They then accepted the authority of Sa'd, who died shortly after he 
had passed judgement on them. This would have occurred at the end of Dhu 
al-Qa^a or early in Dhu al-Hijja of 5 AH. But God knows best. 

Similarly, Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "The conquest of Banu Qurayza 
took place in Dhu al-Qa c da and the beginning of Dhu al-Hijja. The polytheists 
took charge of that pilgrimage." 

Ibn Ishaq stated that Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses eulogizing 
Say b. Mu<adh, may God be pleased with him, 

"My tears descended in a stream, and it was right for 
my eyes that they should weep for Sa<d. 

Lying dead, prostrate on a battlefield. Eyes grieving 
at his loss flowed copiously, in constant pain. 

A member of the religion of the Merciful, he will 
inherit paradise along with the (other) martyrs; 
theirs is the most noble of groups. 

Even though you have said good-bye to us and left us 
and went into the dust of the dark grave 

You have, Sa c d, through your noble martyrdom, gone back 
(to God) clothed in finery and glory. 

By your judgement on both Qurayza tribes with what God 
had decreed, you did not decide wilfully. 

The decree of God matched your judgement on them; you 
did not absolve them when you were reminded of a former 
pact. 

Even though fate has placed you with those others who 
exchanged this life for heaven's eternal gardens 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 179 

Happy is the end of the trustworthy who one day are 
called to God in honour and glory." 

Section: Poetry spoken on the battles ofal-khandaq and Banu Qurayza. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Hajjaj b. Minhal related to us, quoting Shu'ba, quoting c Adi 
b. Thabit, as saying that he heard al-Bara' b. c Azib state, 'The Prophet (SAAS) 
told Hassan, "Satirize them; and Gabriel is with you!"'" 

Al-Bukhari also said, "Additional material was given by Ibrahim b. Tahman, 
from al-Shaybani, from { Adi b. Thabit, from al-Bara 5 b. c Azib, who said, 'The 
Prophet (SAAS), at the battle of Qurayza, told Hassan b. Thabit, "Satirize the 
polytheists, for Gabriel is with you.""' 

Al-Bukhari also related this, as did Muslim and al-Nasa'i, with lines of 
transmission from Stur^ba, but without the addition related above by al-Bukhari. 

Ibn Ishaq, may God have mercy on him, stated, "Dirar b. al-Khattab b. 
Mirdas, brother of Banu Muharib b. Fihr, spoke the following on the battle of 
al-khandaq." 

I would add that this was prior to the acceptance by Dirar of Islam. 

"Many were the sympathetic women who doubted us, though 
we commanded a formidable force. 

Its size was almost as large as Mt. Uhud when the 
onlooker saw its dimensions. 

You saw their short armour amply fitting their heroes 
and their tough leather shields. 

And their fast horses charging like arrows we aimed at 
the misguided sinners. 

It was as if, when we and they charged, they were 
shaking hands with us, at the entry to the trenches. 

Men among whom you could find not one wise, even 
though they would ask, 'Are we not righdy-guided?' 

We besieged them for an entire month, standing above 
them like conquerors. 

We attacked them morning and evening every day, fully 
accoutred in our armour. 

With sharp, cutting swords in our hands, we used them 
to slice their skulls and head-bones. 

The gleam of their drawn blades shining in the hands 
of those who unsheathed them 

Was like the flash of lightning on clouds brightening 
the night that you sould see with full clarity. 

Had it not been for the trench where they were, we 
would have demolished them all. 

It, however, protected them; they took refuge with it 
from us for fear of us. 



1 80 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Even though we withdrew, we left Sa ( d laying dead by 
your tents. 

When darkness came, you could hear the women chanting 
their lamentation for Sa ( d. 

We will revisit you shordy, assisting one another as 
we did before, 

A group of men of Kinana who will not be unarmed, 
acting like lions of the forest, defending their dens." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "He was answered by Ka'b b. Malik, brother of Banu 
Salama, may God be pleased with him, 

'Many were the questioning women who asked us how we 
battled, though if they had been witness to it they 
would have seen us stand firm. 

We did stand fast, seeing nothing equal to God against 
what faced us, relying on Him. 

On our side was the Prophet, a trustworthy ally; with 
him we can overcome all mankind. 

We were fighting a people who did wrong and were 
disrespectful and who were waiting a chance to attack 
us. 

When they arose against us, we fought them hard with 
blows that destroyed the over-hasty. 

The women would have seen us in full, long chain-mail 
gleaming like streams in the desert, 

Bearing light swords in our hands with which to 
puncture the zeal of the trouble-makers. 

At the entrance to the trenches like lions whose 
thickets protect their dens. 

And our cavalry attacking by morning and evening gazed 
at the enemy in disdain and wore insignia 

In support of Ahmad and God, so that we may be sincere 
in worship of truth. 

And the people of Mecca should know when they travel, 
and the tribes who came in clans, 

That God has no partner, and that God is the Lord of 
those who believe. 

Though you may have killed Sa c d impudently, God it is 
who best determines. 

He will enter him in fine gardens which shall be the 
abode of the righteous, 

Just as He repelled you, defeated, in flight, for all 
your anger, shamed and in failure. 

Shamed, you gained no good there, and came close to 
being destroyed. 

By a gale that blew upon you so that you were rendered 
blind beneath it." 



IMAM ABU AL^FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 1 8 1 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "*Abd Allah b. al-Ziba<ra al-Sahmi spoke the following verses 
on the battle of al-khandaq." 

I would add that this poet had not yet accepted Islam. 

"Greetings to a home whose features have been 
obliterated by lengthy neglect and the passage of time. 

It is as though Jews had written their tracing, except 
for the corrals and tent pegs. 

A wasteland, as though you had not sported there, 
pleasantly, with girls of your own age. 

Think no more of a life now gone and a place in ruins 
and abandoned. 

And remember with thanks the trials of those people who 
went out together past the stone monuments,' 14 

The monuments at Mecca, heading for Yathrib, multi- 
voiced, numerous, many in number. 

Avoiding the high ground and usual routes in all the 
heights and passes 

Leading along with them their lean steeds, their 
bellies thin, their flanks trim, 

All offspring of long-bodied mares and stallions, 
(moving stealthily) like a lion attacking an 
inattentive watchman. 

An army with whose banner <Uyayna led, while Sakhr 
commanded the ahzab, the clans. 

Two leaders, splendid like full moons, in them the 
rescue of the poor, the refuge of those in flight 

Until when they arrived in Medina and dressed for 
death, bearing sharp swords. 

For a month and ten days they fought Muhammad, his 
Companions in the fighting being the very best. 

They announced their withdrawal that morning, and you 
said, 'This has almost finished us off!' 

Had it not been for the trenches, they would have left 
their forces lying dead, the prey for birds and 
wolves." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "He was answered by Hassan b. Thabit, God be pleased 
with him, 

'Do the effaced remains of a deserted campsite respond 
to one who addresses them? 

A wasteland, its traces wiped away by frequent rain and 
constant gusts of wind? 

There I once saw dwellings made lovely by fresh-faced 
women of high ancestry. 

44. Presumably the stone markers delineating the holy areas of Mecca. 



1 82 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

But enough reminiscence of fair maidens, sweet-talking 
and full-breasted, 

And complain to God of your cares and what you think of 
a people who maltreated the Messenger in anger. 

Who attacked him en masse, gathering townsmen and 
bedouin tribesmen to fight, 

An army including c Uyayna and Ibn Harb, combining with 
the cavalry of the clans. 

And when they arrived at Medina, they hoped to kill the 
Messenger and to gain much plunder. 

They attacked us in the morning with all their strength 
but were repelled into retreat for all their rage 

By a gale that broke them apart and by the forces of 
your Lord, the Lord of Lords. 

God spared the believers their doing battle and 
assured them the greatest of rewards 

After they had despaired; the sending down of our 
generous Lord's assistance broke them apart. 

He gave relief to Muhammad and to his Companions and 
disgraced all the doubting defamers. 

Hard in heart, aggressive, doubt-filled, disbelieving 
men, impure. 

May failure cling to them, for they maintained their 
disbelief until the end.'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Ka'b b. Malik also answered him, saying, 

'The battles have given us to keep the finest gift of 
our bountiful Lord 

White forts, well-watered camel pastures, dark green, 
where milk is plentiful. 

(Abundant) as lava fields, their bounty and plenty goes 
to neighbour, relative and guest 

With captured horses as swift as light, raised on 
barley and cut fodder. 

Their feet unshod, firm-fleshed, lean of body and legs 

Long-necked, responding eagerly to the call, like 
hunting dogs obeying their master 

Now circling the grazing livestock and then bringing 
down the enemy and retrieving the kill, 

Chasing wild beasts, light-footed, in war, grim in 
battle, their pedigree evident, 

Fed with kindness and so well-bodied and fleshed, but 
slim bellied. 

They (the warriors) arrive wearing double-meshed coats 
of mail and bearing strong, accurate spears. 

And sharp swords, their tarnish removed by the 
polishers, borne by fine men of high birth. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 183 

His right hand gripping a slim spear at the ready, its 
making entrusted to Khabbab. 

There is a bright blue in the spear and it is like a 
flaring flame in the dark of night, 

A squadron whose chain-mail repels the arrows and turns 
aside their blows, 

Dark red, all gathered together, as though their spears 
in each engagement were a forest on fire, 

Heading for the shade of the banner as though they 
were an eagle's shadow, a straight lance of al-Khatt. 

Their heroism overcame Abu Karib, Tubba 3 and the 
bedouins. 

It was admonitions from our Lord that guided us, 
through the tongue of one splendid and good. 

They were presented before us and we wanted to remember 
them after they were set out before the clans, 

Wise words that the criminals thought too severe but 
men of wisdom understand. 

Sakhina came to defeat their Lord, but those seeking to 
overcome the All-Conquering will be overcome!"' 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Someone I trust related to me, quoting c Abd al-Malik b. 
Yahya b. c Abbad b. c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, who said that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) stated, 'When he heard this verse from him, he said, "O Ka'b, God 
thanks you for having spoken those lines!'"" 

I would comment that by the above word sakhina Quraysh were meant. The 
Arabs would use this word, meaning "hot", in referring to them because of 
their liking for eating hot food, unusual for the desert dwellers. But God knows 
best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ka^ b. Malik also spoke the following verses, 

'May he who enjoys the clash of batde when its noise 
resembles that of the crackling of flaming reeds 

Come to a batde site where swords were whetted, 
between al-Madhad and the trench's sides. 

They were skilled in striking at the emblazoned knights 
and entrusted their lives to the Lord of the East 

In a force God employed to aid His prophet, and He was 
gracious to His servant thereby. 

They all wore suits of armour the full lengths of which 
rippled like wind on the surface of a pool. 

Of white, finely-wrought steel, its rivets (protruding) 
like locusts' eyes in the tight-woven links. 

Held up by the belt of an Indian-crafted sword, its 
steel pure, sharp and shining. 

That along with our piety, was our dress on the day of 
the battle, and every hour a trial. 



184 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

If our swords were unable to reach we would Step 
orward to make them do so. 

And you could see skulls with their tops exposed, as 
well as hands severed as though never created. 

We met the foe with a strong, united force that drove 
off their army as though heading for the heights of Mt. 
al-Mashriq. 

We prepared against the enemy every light-bodied, 
white-footed piebald horse, 

Swiftly bearing riders whose steeds seemed in the fray 
as (speedy) as lions on a damp hillside. 

Trusted steeds which bring death to the brave from 
deadly spears amidst the dust. 

God ordered that the horses be tied to his enemy in the 
warfare; God is indeed the best to bring success. 

That they should harass the enemy and protect the 
homes if the evil-doers' cavalry approached. 

God the Almighty aided us with His power and reliable 
endurance at the time we met them. 

We obey the order of our Prophet and respond to him; 
if He calls us to an unpleasant task, we are not to be 
outpassed. 

When there is a summons to engage in dangerous acts, we 
attend them, and when we see fighting rage, we take 
part. 

Those following the Prophet's words (are right), for 
among us his orders are obeyed, and He is fully 
believed. 

By that He will give us aid and show our glory and 
ensure thereby that we achieve a pleasant life. 

Those who deny Muhammad are disbelievers and have 
strayed from the path of the God-fearing.'" 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Ka^ b. Malik also spoke the following, 

'The clans well knew, when they joined against us and 
attacked our faith, that we would not give up 

Joint forces of Qays b. c Aylan and Khmdif united, but 
they did not know what was going to happen. 

They seek to turn us from our religion, while we seek 
to turn them from disbelief; and the All-Merciful sees 
and hears. 

When they stormed against us in battle, broad help from 
God helped us against their rage; 

That was God's grace and protection for us; and 
whomever God does not protect is lost. 

He led us to the religion of the truth, and chose it 
for us; and God has deeds above those of all others."' 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 185 

Ibn Hisham commented, "These verses are in a qasida of his" — by which he 
meant a long ode. 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following lines on the 
execution of Banu Qurayza, 

'Qurayza encountered what harmed them and found no aid 
against disgrace. 

Disaster hit them equal to that which struck Banu 
al-Nadir 

That day when the Messenger of God came down at them 
like the light-giving moon. 

He had eager horses bearing riders like eagles. 

We left them having gained nothing, their blood smeared 
on them like perfume, 

Prostrate, vultures circling above them; thus are the 
evil and obstinate paid back. 

So warn Quraysh of the like from the All-Merciful, if 
they will take my advice.'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Hassan b. Thabit also spoke the following verses about Banu 
Qurayza, 

'A people who helped Quraysh had made a pact, and they 
shall find no aid in their land. 

The Book was brought them, but they neglected it; they 
are blind to the Torah, ruined. 

You disbelieved in the Qur'an, though you had been 
brought proof of what the Warner spoke 

But the leaders of Banu Lu'ayy ignored the great 
conflagration at al-Buwayra.' 

"Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith b. <Abd al-Muttalib answered him as follows, 

'May God eternalize such a deed as that! And may the 
fire blaze on in its parts! 

You shall learn which of us is sin-free, and the lands 
of which of us it will harm. 

If the palm trees there had been riders, they would 
have told you, "There's no place for you here, so 
leave!"'" 

I comment that Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith spoke this verse before he accepted 
Islam. Some of these lines are also given by al-Bukhari. 

Ibn Ishaq recorded also the response of Hassan on this subject addressed to 
Jabal b. Jawwal al-Tha^labi; that we have purposely omitted. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hassan b. Thabit also spoke the following eulogizing Sa c d 
and those men who achieved martyrdom fighting Banu Qurayza, 



1 8 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'My people, is there defence against matters ordained? 
And will good times now gone ever return? 

I remembered a time now gone, my emotions were 
disturbed and my tears flowed down. 

The pain of sorrow reminded me of brethren and of dead 
now gone, including Tufayl and Rafi c 

And Sa c d; they are in paradise, while their homes are 
empty and the earth a waste-land without them. 

At the battle of Badr they were loyal to the Messenger, 
while above them were the shades of death and flashing 
swords. 

He called, and they responded properly, all of them 
responsive and obedient to every command. 

They did not withdraw until all were gone; and it is 
only battles that shorten a life-span. 

For they hope for intercession from him, at a time when 
only prophets will intercede. 

And so that, O best of worshippers, was our brave 
action, our response to God while death awaited. 

We made the first step towards You, while behind us in 
God's religion others will follow our first. 

We know that dominion is God's alone, and that God's 
decree will surely prevail.'" 



ON THE EXECUTION OF ABU RAFI< SALLAM B. ABO AL-HUQA YQ_ 
THE JEW, GOD DAMN HIM, IN A FORTRESS OF HIS AT KHAYBAR. 
HE WAS A WELL-KNOWN MERCHANT OF HIJAZ. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the battle of al-khandaq and the Banu Qurayza affair 
were over, the matter of Sallam b. Abo al-Huqayq, he being known as Abu Rafi c , 
arose. He was one of those who had gathered the clans against the Messenger of 
God (SAAS). Prior to the Battle of Uhud, Aws had killed Ka<b b. al-Ashraf and 
so the Khazraj asked permission of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to kill Sallam 
b. Abu al-Huqayq, who was at Khaybar, and he agreed. 

"Muhammad b. Musallam al-Zuhn related to me as follows, quoting c Abd 
Allah b. Ka<b b. Malik as having said, 'God had so ordered it for His messenger 
(SAAS) that Aws and Khazraj used to compete with one another like two 
stallions. If Aws ever accomplished something for him, then Khazraj would 
not want this to give them any advantageous position with him over themselves. 
So they would strive hard to achieve something similar. And when Khazraj 
accomplished something, Aws would say the same. 

"'When Aws struck down Ka<b b. al-Ashraf for his enmity to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), Khazraj determined that Aws would have no advantage with 
him over themselves thereby. And so they asked themselves who had expressed 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHlR 187 

an enmity similar to that of Ibn al-Ashraf; they thought of Ibn Abu al-Huqayq, 
who was at Khaybar. They therefore asked permission of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) to kill him, and he agreed. 

"'Five men of Khazraj, of Banu Salama, then set out to do this. They were 
<Abd Allah b/Aok, Mas c ud b. Sinan, c Abd Allah b. Unays, Abu Qatada al-Harith 
b. Rib% and Khuza c a b. Aswad, an ally of theirs from Banu Aslam. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) placed <Abd Allah b. ( Atlk in command of them and told them 
to refrain from killing any woman or children. 

"'It was night when they arrived at the compound of Ibn Abu al-Huqayq. 
They took care to close all the doors upon those who lived there. He himself 
was in an upper chamber reached by a ladder. They climbed it, reached his door 
and asked to come in. His wife came out to them and asked who they were. They 
replied that they were bedouin seeking supplies. She told them they had come 
to the right man and let them in.'" 

The account proceeds, "'When we went in, we shut him and ourselves inside 
the room, fearing someone might interfere between us. His wife screamed and 
gave him warning about us, but we set upon him with our swords while he was 
still in bed. I swear it was only his whiteness - like that of a Coptic dress lying 
there - that showed us where he was in the black of the night. As his wife 
screamed, we raised our swords to her, but remembered what the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had forbidden and lowered them again. We would otherwise have 
killed her too that night. As we struck him with our swords, c Abd Allah b. Unays 
plunged his into his stomach and pierced him through, as he said the words, 
"Qatni! Qatni!" "That's enough! That's enough!" 

'"Then we left. c Abd Allah b. <Atik had poor sight and he fell off the ladder 
and severely sprained his arm. We carried him off into a water channel at one of 
their wells. They (Sallam's people) lit torches and chased all around looking for 
us, but gave up and assembled around him as he expired. 

"'We wondered how we could ascertain that he had died, so one of us 
suggested that he would go back to see. He mingled with those there and reported 
how he had seen her — Sallam's wife - holding a torch and telling people as she 
looked into his face, "I swear, I heard the voice of Ibn c Atik. But then I told 
myself I must be wrong, because there was no way he could be in these parts!" 
She then went close and, looking into his face, said, "He's dead, by the God of 
the Jews!" And I swear, I never heard words sweeter to me than those! 

'"When he returned and told us this, we carried our companion away and 
reported to the Messenger of God (SAAS) the death of God's enemy. When 
with him, we argued over which of us had actually killed him, each of us claiming 
it. He then said, "Hand me your swords." When we did so, he examined them 
and said of the sword of c Abd Allah b. Anis, "This one killed him; I can see food 
traces on it.'"" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Hassan b. Thabit spoke the following verses on this, 



1 8 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'God has credit for that band you met, Ibn al-Huqayq, 
and you too, Ibn al-Ashraf. 

They attacked you bearing light swords, as lively as 
lions in thick brush. 

They reached you in your own town and made you taste 
death with swift swords 

Seeking victory for their prophet's religion, 
belittling every difficulty.'" 

This, then, is the account as given by Imam Muhammad b. Ishaq, may God have 
mercy on him. 

Imam Abu c Abd Allah aUJukhart stated, "Ishaq b. Nasr related to us, quoting 
Yahya b. Adam, quoting Ibn Abu Za 5 ida, from his father, from Abu Ishaq, from 
al-Bara 3 b. c Azib, who said, 'The Prophet (SAAS) sent a group of men to attack 
Abu Rafi c . c Abd Allah b. c Atik entered his house at night while he slept and 
killed him.'" 

Al-Bukhari also narrated, "Yusuf b. Musa related to us, quoting c Abd Allah 
b. Musa, from Isra'll, from Abu Ishaq, from al-Bara 3 , who said, 'The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) sent out some men of the ansar to attack Abu Rafi c , the Jew. He 
appointed c Abd Allah b. c Atlk in charge of them. Abu Rafi c had been doing harm 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and assisting his enemies. He was inside a fort 
he owned in Hijaz- When they drew near him, by which time the sun had set and 
the people were taking their livestock inside, c Abd Allah told his companions, 
"Sit down here, and I'll go off and play a trick on the gatekeeper to get inside." 
He then went on, close to the gate, where he shielded himself with his clothing 
as though relieving himself, the other residents already having gone inside. 
The gatekeeper called out to him to come on inside since he wanted to close 
the gate.'" 

(<Abd Allah's account went on), '"So I went in and hid. When everyone was 
inside, he locked the gate and hung the keys on a peg. I then took them and 
opened the gate. Abu Rafi ( was entertaining in an upstairs room of his. When his 
guests left, I went on up to him, closing each door behind me from the inside, 
determined that if they spotted me they would not reach me before I killed him, 

" 'When I reached his chambers, he was inside zfegh, a dark apartment, but I 
did not precisely know his whereabouts. So I called out, "Abu Rafi c !" "Who's 
there?" he asked. I then hurried towards the voice and struck out at him with my 
sword. But I was confused and accomplished nothing, while he shouted out. So 
I left the chamber and went a little off, then came back in again, asking, "What 
was that sound, Abu Rafi?" He replied, "Woe on your mother, I swear, there's 
a man in the house who just hit me with a sword!" At that I hit him hard once 
more but still did not kill him. Then I put the tip of my sword into his stomach 
until it reached his back. I then knew I had killed him. After that I opened the 
doors again, one by one, and reached a stairway. When I put my foot down, 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA <IL IBN KATHlR 1 89 

thinking I had finished (climbing down) I fell. It was a moon-lit night. I broke 
my leg but tied it up with a turban and went on as far as the gate, where I sat, 
telling myself I should not leave until I knew I had killed him. At the cock's crow 
the death-announcer got up on a wall and shouted, "I lament the death of Abu 
Rafi c , saviour of the people of Hijaz." I then left to join my companions, telling 
them, "Let's go! God has killed Abu Rafi c !" When I reached the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) and told him, he said, "Stretch out your leg!" I did so and he 
touched it. And it was as if it had never caused me pain!'" 

Al-Bukharl also stated, "Ahmad b. 'Uthman b. Hakim al-Awdi related to us, 
quoting Shurayh, quoting Ibrahim b. Yusuf, from his father, from Abu Ishaq, 
who said he heard al-Bara 3 say, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent out c Abd 
Allah b. 'Atlk, and c Abd Allah b. c Utba, along with others, against Abu Rafi c . 
When they drew near the fortress, c Abd Allah b. c Atlk told them to wait while 
he went on ahead.'" (He recounted), '"I played a trick to get inside the fortress. 
They could not find a donkey of theirs and went out with a lantern to find it. 
I was afraid I would be discovered, so I concealed my head and crouched as 
though relieving myself. He (the gatekeeper) called out, "Whoever wants to go 
in should do so before I lock the gate." So I went inside then hid in a donkey stall 
at the fortress gate. There were people dining with Abu Rafi c and they kept on 
conversing with him until it was night. Then they went home. 

"'When the voices died down and I could hear no movement, I came out. I 
saw where the gatekeeper had placed the key to the fortress, in a niche, and I 
took it. So I used it to open the door, telling myself I would quietly sneak out 
if people detected me. I then barred the doors of all their dwellings from the 
outside. 

"'After that I climbed a ladder up to Abu Rafi* and found his apartment 
dark, the lantern having been extinguished. I did not know where the man was, 
so I called out his name. When he responded, I made for the voice and struck 
him. He cried out, but my blow did no injury. Later I came back to him as 
though to help him and, disguising my voice, asked him, "What's wrong, Abu 
Rafr?" He replied, "Woe on your mother! A man came in to me and struck me 
with a sword!" I then made for him and struck him again, but once more to 
no avail. He shouted out and aroused his family. After that I again returned, 
changing my voice as though coming to help. He was lying on his back. So I placed 
my sword on his stomach and leaned on it until I heard the sound of (it striking) 
bone. I then left, in some confusion, found my way to the ladder I wanted to 
descend, but I fell off it and dislocated my leg. I bandaged it and went on to my 
companions, limping. I told them, "Get going! Tell the Messenger of God, the 
good news! I'll not leave until I hear the announcement of his death." When 
dawn broke, the announcer climbed up and lamented the death of Abu Rafi c . So 
I got up and left, feeling no pain, and rejoined my companions before they 
reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), and I told him the good news.'" 



190 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Al-Bukhari, alone of the authors of the six canonical books of tradition, 
related this text. He then went on, "Al-Zuhri stated, Ubayy b. Ka"b said, 'So 
they went to the Messenger of God (SAAS), who was on the minbar, the pulpit, 
at the time. He asked, "Are faces happy?" They replied, "May yours be, 
Messenger of God!" "Did you slay him?" "Yes," they replied. "Hand me the 
sword," he asked. He unsheathed it and then said, "Yes, that's his food on the 
tip of the sword.""' 

I would comment that it is likely that when c Abd Allah b. 'Atik fell from 
the ladder that he dislocated his shank and sprained his foot and his leg. When 
he bound it up, it had the immediate effect of calming the pain. And when he 
wanted to walk, he was aided (by unseen forces) for he was engaged in a beneficial 
exercise. When he reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), and came to a rest, 
the pain in his leg again flared up. When he stretched it out and the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) touched it, that took away the pain there had been, as well as 
what he might have expected there would be thereafter. This would reconcile 
the former and latter accounts. But God knows best. 

In this regard, Musa b. c Uqba related in his maghazi, his work on the military 
engagements, an account similar to that of Muhammad b. Ishaq. He named the 
group of men who took part therein as those stated by Ibn Ishaq, Ibrahim and 
Abu <Ubayd. 



THE EXECUTION OF KHALID B. SUFYAN B. NUBA YH AL-HUDHALI. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaqi gave this account in Dafflil {The Signs) following that 
of Abu Rafi<. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Ya'qub related to him that his father quoted Ibn 
Ishaq as saying, "Muhammad b. Ja c far b. al-Zubayr related to me, from Ibn c Abd 
Allah b. Unays, from his father, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
called for me and said, "I have been informed that Khalid b. Sufyan b. Nubayh 
al-Hudhali is gathering a force of men to attack me. He is at HJrana. Go to him 
and kill him." I replied, "Messenger of God, please describe him to me so that I 
can recognize him." "When you see him", he replied, "you'll tremble." 

" 'So I left, bearing my sword; I came upon him at ^rana where he had 
litter-borne women for whom he had sought a campsite. When it was time for 
the al-^asr prayer — and I had experienced that shivering that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) had described for me when I should see him - I went towards 
him. As I did so, I was worried that some conflict might develop between us 
that would preoccupy rae from performing the prayer. So I prayed as I walked 
towards him, nodding my head for the prayer bows and prostrations. When 
I reached him, he said, "And who might you be?" I replied, "I'm a bedouin 
Arab who has heard of you and of your gathering a force against that fellow, 
and I've therefore come to you." He replied, "Yes, I am engaged in that." I 
then accompanied him a while until, when I could, I attacked him with my 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 191 

sword and killed him. I then departed, leaving his women all crouched over 
him. 

"'When I reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he saw me, he asked, 
"Happy, I hope?" I replied, "I've killed him, Messenger of God!" "You spoke 
true," he said. He then arose with me, entered his house and presented me with 
a stick, saying, "Keep this with you, <Abd Allah b. Unays." 

" 'So I took it and went outside where people asked me what it was. I replied 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had given it to me and had told me to keep 
it. They then suggested I return to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and ask him 
to explain about that. So I did go back and asked him why he had given me the 
stick. He replied, "It is a sign between yourself and me for Judgement Day. 
There will be very few that day with something to lean upon."'" 

The account continues, "'And so 'Abd Allah attached it to his sword and it 
was always with him until, upon his death, it was included in his winding sheet 
and he and it were buried together.' " 

Imam Ahmad related this from Yahya b. Adam, from <Abd Allah b. Idrls, 
from Muhammad b. Ishaq, from Muhammad b. Ja<far b. al-Zubayr, from one of 
the sons of c Abd Allah b. Unays - or alternatively, from <Abd Allah b. c Abd Allah 
b. Unays, from c Abd Allah b. Unays himself. His account is similar. 

Abu Da°ud related it similarly from Abu Ma c mar, from c Abd al-Warith, from 
Muhammad b. Ishaq, from Muhammad b. Ja c far, from c Abd Allah b. Unays, 
from his father. The hafiz al-Bayhaql related it on a line through Muhammad b. 
Salama, from Muhammad b. Ishaq, from Muhammad b. Ja c far b. al-Zubayr, 
from c Abd Allah b. c Abd Allah b. Unays, from his father. 

<Urwa b. al-Zubayr and Musa b. MJqba relate this story without a full line 
of transmission in their works on the maghazi. But God knows best. 

Ibn Hisham stated, '^Abd Allah b. Unays spoke the following verses on his 
execution of Khalid b. Sufyan, 

'I left Ibn Thawr like a camel foal still connected to 
its mother, while around him hired weepers rent their 
clothes to shreds. 

I engaged him, while the camel litter was at my back 
and his, with a sword formed from fine, molten steel, 

Well-tested by the heads of armoured men, as though a 
flame in a dark night from a flaring fire. 

I told him, as my sword bit into his head, "I am Ibn 
Unays, a knight, no coward I. 

I am the son of him whose like fate never produced, a 
man who welcomed all, a generous host." 

I told him, "Take that, the blow of a noble, gracious 
man who follows the religion of the Prophet Muhammad; 

If the Prophet is concerned about a disbeliever, I race 
towards him, raising voice and hand."'" 



1 9 2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

I comment that his full name was <Abd Allah b. Unays b. Haram, Abu Yahya 
al-Juhani; he was a famous and highly-regarded sahabi, "Companion". He 
was present at the al- c Aqaba pledge, and participated in the battles of Uhud, 
al-khandaq and later ones. His death occurred late in life, while he was in Syria, 
at age 80, as is well known. It is also said that he died in the year 54 AH. But God 
knows best. 

c All b. al-Zubayr and Khalifa b. Khayyat differentiated him from c Abd Allah 
b. Unays Abu c Isa, the ansarf; it was he who related that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) prayed at Uhud over a vessel containing water and its spout opened and 
he drank from it. This was what Abo Da'ud and al-Tirmidhl related through c Abd 
Allah al- c Umari, from foa b. <Abd Allah b. Unays, from his father. Al-Tirmidhi 
then stated, "But its chain of authorities is not reliable; and c Abd Allah al-^Umafi 
is a weak source with regard to his memory." 

The Story of c Amr b. aI- c As and the Negus, after the battle 
of al-khandaq, and how c Amr accepted Islam. 

Ibn Ishaq related the following after his account of the killing of Abu Rafi c . 

"Yazid b. Abu Habib related to me, from Rashld, freed-man of Habib b. Aws 
al-Thaqaft, from Hablb b. Aws, as follows, ' c Amr b. al-^As related to me directly, 
saying, "When we left with the ahzab, the clans, after the battle of al-khandaq, I 
gathered some Quraysh who thought as I did and respected my opinion and told 
them, 'You know how I think that the Muhammad affair is escalating badly. You 
know my opinion; what is yours?' 

"""How do you mean?' they asked. 

"'"'Well,' I went on, 'I think we should join the Negus and stay with him. If 
Muhammad defeats our people, we'll be there with the Negus, and we'd prefer 
to be under his authority than that of Muhammad. If our people prevail, they 
already know us, and we'll experience nothing but good from them.' 

'""They responded, 'That's a (good) opinion.' 

"'"I then said, 'Let's gather something to present to him.' The gift; he liked 
most from our country was leather, so we collected a large quantity of it for him. 

" ' "After that we left and joined him. While we were there with him, c Amr b. 
Umayya al-Damri arrived; the Messenger of God (SAAS) had sent him to the 
Negus concerning Jafar and his companions. He went in to see the Negus and 
then came out again. I told my friends, 'That's c Amr b. Umayya; if I were to go 
in to the Negus and asked him to give him over to me, he would do so and I could 
kill him. And if I did that Quraysh would know that I was acting for them in 
killing Muhammad's envoy.'" 

"'He went on, "So I went in and bowed as was my custom. He greeted me, 
saying, 'Welcome to my friend! Did you bring me a gift from your country?' I 
replied, 'Yes, O king. I've brought you a lot of leather.' I then gave it to him and 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 193 

he was delighted. After that I asked him, 'O king, I saw a man who just left your 
presence; he is the envoy of a man who is our enemy. Give him over to me, so 
that I may kill him. He has killed some of our leaders and nobles.' 

"'"But he became enraged; he put out his hand and struck his nose with it so 
hard I thought he broke it. If the earth had opened up, I would have willingly 
gone inside! 

"'"Then I said, 'O king, if I had known this would displease you, I would 
never have asked it of you.' 

"'"He responded, 'Do you ask me to hand over to you the envoy of a man to 
whom the namus al-akbar, "the archangel Gabriel" comes, the one who used to 
come to Moses, so you could kill him?' 

'""I asked, 'Is that how he is, O king?' 'Woe on you, c Amr,' he replied; 'obey 
me and follow him. I swear by God that he is right. He will certainly overcome 
all those who oppose him just as Moses son of ^mran defeated Pharoah and 
his troops.' 

"'"I asked, 'Will you accept my allegiance to him in Islam?' 

"'"'Yes,' he replied, stretching out his hand. I then declared to him my 
allegiance to Islam. 

"'"After that I went out to my companions, my attitude towards Islam 
now completely different from what it had been. I concealed from them my 
having accepted Islam and then left, heading for the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
to become a Muslim. I met Khalid b. al-Walid - that being before the conquest 
of Mecca - while he was coming from Mecca. I asked him, 'Where are you 
headed, Abu Sulayman?' He replied, 'I swear by God, the way has become clear. 
The man really is a prophet. I am going to accept Islam; until when (should 
I delay)?' I then told him, 'I swear by God, I myself have only come to accept 
Islam!' 

'""So we went to Medina to see the Prophet (SAAS). Khalid arrived first, 
accepted Islam and declared his allegiance. I went up to him and said, 'Messenger 
of God, I pledge allegiance to you on condition that you forgive me all my past 
sins, without reference to what is yet to come.' 

"'"The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, ' c Amr, do pledge, for Islam 
erases all before it, just as the Hijra erased all that preceded it.' 

'""I then made my pledge to him and left."'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "A reliable source related to me that t Uthman b. Talha b. 
Abu Talha was with them both and accepted Islam at the same time. c Abd Allah 
b. Abu al-Ziba^ra' al-Sahml then spoke the verses, 

'I refer t Uthman b. Talha (to what is behind us) (or to 
our pact) and to the place at al-Muqabbal where people 
cast their sandals. 

And to all the pacts our forefathers made, and Khalid 
is not absolved of the like as well. 



194 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Is it the key to a house you do not possess that you 
desire; 45 yet what could you more desire than a house 
of ancient glory? 

Do not trust Khalid hereafter, not c Uthman; they have 
caused a calamity.'" 

I observe that their acceptance of Islam came after the Hudaybiyya truce. This 
is evident because on that occasion Khalid b. al-Walid was in the polytheist 
cavalry, as will be related. It would have been more appropriate to refer thereafter 
to his acceptance of Islam. But I have related it here since Imam Muhammad b. 
Ishaq, God be pleased with him, did so. This is because the first departure of 
c Amr b. al- c As to the Negus did occur after the battle at al~khandaq; it is clear 
that he went there for the remainder of the year 5 AH. But God knows best. 

Chapter: The Marriage of the Prophet (SAAS) to Umm Habiba, daughter of Abu Sufyan. 

Al-Bayhaqi related following the battle of al-khandaq, quoting al-Kalbi from 
Abu Salih from Ibn c Abbas, who said with relation to the words of the Almighty, 
"Perhaps God will bring about friendship between you and those of them 
you consider enemies" (surat al-Mumtahana; LX, v.7). "This relates to the 
marriage of the Prophet (SAAS) to Umm Habiba, daughter of Abo Sufyan; 
she thus became the umm al-mtPminin, the 'mother of the believers, 746 while 
Mu'awiya (son of Abu Sufyan), became the kkal al-mifminin, the 'uncle of the 
believers'." 

Al-Bayhaqi then stated, "Abu c Abd Allah al-Hafiz recounted to us, quoting 
Ahmad b. Najda, quoting Yahya b. c Abd al-Hamid, quoting Ibn al-Mubarak, 
from Ma c mar, from al-Zuhri, from "Urwa, who said that Umm Habiba was with 
<Ubayd Allah b. Jahsh who had gone to the Negus and had died. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) had then arranged marriage with Umm Habiba while she 
was there in Abyssinia, and the Negus had arranged this, giving her a dowry 
of 4,000 dirhams which he had taken to her by Shurahbll b. Hasana; it was he 
who provided her trousseau, the Messenger of God (SAAS) not sending her 
anything. He said, "The dowry provided for the wives of the Prophet (SAAS) 
used to be 400 (dirhams)." 

I would comment that in fact the dowries of the Prophet (SAAS) were 12 
awqiyya and 1 nash (of gold); and the wuqya was worth 40 dirhams, while the 
nash was worth one-half (a wuqya). That totals 500 dirhams. 

Al-Bayhaqi then recounted through Ibn Lahi'a, from Abu al-Aswad, from 
<Urwa, that c Ubayd Allah b. Jahsh died a Christian in Abyssinia. The next to 
marry Umm Habiba was the Messenger of God (SAAS); it was ^thman b. 
c Affan, God be pleased with him, who arranged her marriage to him. 

45. "Uthnsti b. Talha was in charge of the keys of the ka'-ba. 

46. The honorific title given to the wives of the Prophet (SAAS). 



IMA M ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA qL IBN KATHI R 195 

I comment that the conversion to Christianity of c Ubayd Allah b. Jahsh has 
been described above. That occurred after he had migrated to Abyssinia with 
the Muslims. There Satan subverted him and made Christianity seem attractive 
to him, and he therefore embraced it until he died. May God curse him! He used 
to mock the Muslims by telling them, "We see clearly; your eyes are still half 
closed!" Reference to this is made above relating to the migration to Abyssinia. 47 

"Urwa's statement above, "It was c Uthman who arranged the marriage for 
him," is strange. This is because c Uthman had returned to Mecca before this, 
and then migrated to Medina, accompanied by his wife Ruqayya, as is related 
above. But God knows best. 

What is authentic is the account of Yunus, quoting Muhammad b. Ishaq, who 
said, "I was informed that the man who arranged her marriage was her cousin 
Khalid b. Sa<ld b. al-<As." 

I comment that the agent of the Messenger of God (SAAS) in accepting 
this contract was Ashuma, the Negus, the king of Abyssinia. This is what 
Yunus reported, on the authority of Muhammad b. Ishaq, whom he quotes as 
saying, "Abu Ja c far Muhammad b. <Ali b. al-Husayn related to me, stating, 'The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) sent £ Amr b. Umayya al-Damri to the Negus and 
he arranged his marriage to Umm Hablba, daughter of Abu Sufyan, conveying 
from him 400 dinars.'" 

Al-Zubayr b. Bakkar stated, "Muhammad b. al-Hasan related to me, from his 
father, from c Abd Allah b. c Amr b. Zuhayr, from Isma c il b. c Amr, that Umm 
Hablba, daughter of Abu Sufyan said, 'While I was in Abyssinia, I was surprised 
by a visit from an envoy of the Negus, a slave-girl called Abraha who used to 
care for his clothes and anoint him. She asked to come in and I agreed. Then 
she said, "The king says to you, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) has written to 
me asking me to arrange your marriage to him.'" I replied, "God has sent you 
with good news." Abraha then continued, "The king says to you, 'Appoint an 
agent to arrange your marriage.'" 

"'So I sent for Khalid b. Sa c ld b. al- c As and appointed him my agent. Then 
I gave to Abraha two silver bracelets and two silver camel decorations I was 
wearing and silver rings from each of my toes, I was so pleased with the good 
news she had brought me. 

" 'That evening the Negus ordered JaTar b. Abu Tahb and the Muslims there 
to attend him and he made an address in which he said, "Praise be to God, 
the King, the All-Holy, the Faithful, the Powerful, the Almighty! I testify that 
there is no god but God, that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, and 
that it is he whose coming <Isa (Jesus), son of Mary predicted. Further, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) has requested that I marry him to Umm Hablba, 
daughter of Abu Sufyan. I have responded to the request made by the Messenger 

47. See Vol. II. 



196 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

of God (SAAS), who has given 400 dinars as her dowry." He then poured out 
the coins before everyone. 

'"Khalid b. Sa c ld spoke, saying, "Praise be to God! I give Him praise and ask 
His forgiveness. I testify that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is 
His servant and messenger whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth 
to show its superiority to all religions, however much the polytheists may dislike 
this. Moreover, I have responded to what the Messenger of God (SAAS) has 
requested, and I have contracted his marriage to Umm Habiba, daughter of Abu 
Sufyan. May God bless the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

"'The Negus then paid the dinars over to Khalid b. Sa'ld who took them. 
Then everyone was about to rise, but he (the Negus) then said, "Take your seats, 
for it is the practice of prophets to have a feast when they marry." He then called 
for food and they ate and dispersed thereafter.'" 

I comment that it may well be that c Amr b. Umayya, when seen by c Amr b. 
al-As emerging from the presence of the Negus, following the battle of al-khandaq, 
had been active in the matter of Umm Habiba. But God knows best. 

However, the hafiz al-Bayhaql stated, "Abu <Abd Allah b. Mandah related 
that the marriage of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Umm Habiba was in the 
year 6 AH, while his marriage to Umm Salama was in the year 4 AH." 

I comment that Khalifa, Abu "Ubayd Allah Ma c mar b. al-Muthanna and Ibn 
al-Baraql said the same, and that the marriage to Umm Habiba was in 6 AH. 
Some people said that it was 7 AH. Al-Bayhaql said, "That is more likely." 

I also note that, as has been related heretofore, his marriage to Umm Salama 
was late in the year 4 AH. It is likely that the marriage to Umm Habiba occurred 
before that, though it could also have been thereafter. It is most probable that 
it was following the battle of al-khandaq, because of what we have related 
above regarding 'Amr b. al- c As, and how he saw c Amr b. Umayya with the 
Negus, engaged in that matter. But God knows best. 

The hafiz Ibn al-Athir recounted in al-Ghaba, quoting Qatada, that when 
Umm Habiba migrated from Abyssinia to Medina, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) became engaged to her and married her. 

Some scholars maintain that he married her after her father had accepted 
Islam, following the conquest of Mecca. But that contradicts what was related 
by Muslim, through Ikrima b. c Ammar al-Yamani, from Abu Zumayl Simak b. 
al- Walld, from Ibn 'Abbas, that Abu Sufyan said, "O Messenger of God, grant 
me three wishes!" "Yes," he replied. "That you give me authority to battle the 
unbelievers just as I used to battle the Muslims." "Yes," he replied. "And that 
you appoint Mu'awiya as a clerk of yours." "Yes," he replied. "And I have at 
home the best and most lovely of all the Arab women, Umm Habiba, daughter 
of Abu Sufyan; let me marry you to her." 

That is the hadith in its entirety. 

Ibn al-Athir stated, "This hadith is one for which Muslim is criticized. This is 
because when Abu Sufyan came to renew the pact before the conquest, he went 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 1 97 

in to see his daughter Umm Habiba and she rolled up the rug of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). He then asked, "By God, I don't know whether 
you consider the carpet too good for me or me too good for it!" She replied, 
"This rug belongs to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and you are a polytheist." 
He replied, "I swear by God, you've changed for the worse since you left 
me, daughter!" 

Ibn Hazm stated, "This hadtth was invented by <Ikrima b. 'Ammar. This 
statement from him should not be considered dependable." 

Others stated that he wanted to renew the pact because of the disadvantages 
in it (that had been included) without his permission. Others say it was because 
he believed that his daughter's marriage would be dissolved because of his 
acceptance of Islam. 

But all this is unconvincing. What is most likely is that he wanted to marry 
him (the Prophet (SAAS)) to his other daughter c Amra, since he thought that 
would bring honour to himself. And he therefore sought help from his daughter 
Umm Habiba, as is stated in both sahih collections. The narrator was merely 
in error in his using the name Umm Habiba. That is why we have given (only) 
one report. 

Abu TJbayd al-Q_asim {,. Sallam stated, "Umm Habiba died in the year 44 AH." 
Abu Bakr b. Abu Khaythama said, "She died one year before Mu'awiya." The 
death of Mu'awiya occurred in Rajab of 60 AH, 



THE MARRIAGE OF THE MESSENGER OF GOD (SAAS) TO ZA YNAB, 
DAUGHTER OFjfAHSH B. RPAB B. YAWUR B. SABRA B. MURRA B. 
KABIR B, GHANAM B. DDDAN B. ASAD B. KHUZAYMA, AL-ASADIYYA, 
UMMAL-MWMININ, 'MOTHER OF THE BELIEVERS'. 

Her mother was Umayya, daughter of <Abd al-Muttahb, aunt of the Messenger 
of God (SAAS). She was previously the wife of his freed-man Zayd b. H ar hha, 
God be pleased with him. 

Qatada, al-Waqidi and some of the people of Medina said that he married her 
in the year 5 AH; some added the month, Dhu al-Qa'da. The hafiz al-Bayhaql 
stated, "He married her after the attack on Banu Qurayza." Khalifa b. Khayyat, 
Abu t Ubayda Ma c mar b. al-Muthanna and Ibn Mandah said that he married her 
in the year 3 AH. The first possibility is better known and it is the one accepted 
by Ibn Jarlr and several historians. 

Various commentators, theologians and historians give as the reason for his 
marrying her reference to a hadtth related by Ahmad b. Hanbal in his collection 
that we have deliberately refrained from including so that those lacking under- 
standing would not place it in the wrong context. 48 

48. Zaynab had originally been presented, when a virgin, by the Prophet (SAAS) to his freed-man 
and adopted son Zayd d. Haritha. Her later divorce and this marriage inspired much commentary 
and is the subject of the following passage in the Qur'an quoted here by Ibn Kathlr. 



198 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

In His Glorious Qur'an, Almighty God stated, "And (consider) when you 
say to him whom God had favoured and whom you had favoured, 'Keep your 
wife for yourself, and fear God,' and you hide within yourself what God makes 
evident, and you fear men. Yet God has greater right that you fear Him. And 
since Zayd has now finished with her, We give her to you in marriage so that 
there should be no distress for believers regarding the wives of their adopted 
sons when the latter have divorced them. God's command must be fulfilled. 
And there should be no distress for the Prophet in accomplishing what God has 
imposed upon him. Such has been God's course with those who went before. 
God's decree is determined'" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.37, 38). 

We have discussed this at sufficient length in our Tafsir (Exegesis). 

The person referred to as having received God's favour is Zayd b. Haritha, the 
freed-man of the Messenger of God (SAAS). God favoured him with Islam, and 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) also favoured him by setting him free and by 
marrying him to Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, the daughter of his own maternal 
aunt. Muqatil b. Habban stated that the dowry he provided for her was ten 
dinars and sixty dirhams, a veil for her head and face, a wrap, a coat of armour, 
fifty mudd (a dry measure) and ten mudd of dates. She (Zaynab) remained with 
him (Zayd) close to a year, or longer, but then they quarrelled. Her husband 
complained about her to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he would say to 
him, "Keep your wife for yourself and fear God." 

God stated, "You hide within yourself what God makes evident." Regarding 
this, c All b. al-Husayn Zayn b. al-'Abidln and al-Suddl said, "He (the Messenger 
of God (SAAS)) knew that she was to be one of his wives and it is he who hid 
(this) within himself." 

Many early authorities discussed this matter in various strange ways. Some of 
these are controversial and so we are omitting them. 

God Almighty stated, "And since Zayd has now finished with her, We give 
her to you in marriage ..." This refers to Zayd having divorced her. And when 
her Hdda period was over, the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent to her so that 
she would become engaged to himself, and he then married her. And it was the 
Lord of the universe, Blessed and Almighty is He, who married him to her, as is 
established in the sahik collection of al-Bukhari, from Anas b. Malik. The latter 
related that Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, used to claim superiority over the other 
wives of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and say, "It was your families who 
arranged your marriage, whereas it was Almighty God, from above the seven 
heavens, who arranged mine!" 

There is a report through Tsa b. Tahman, from Anas, which says, "Zaynab 
would claim superiority over the wives of the Prophet (SAAS) and say, 'It 
was God who arranged my marriage from heaven.' And it was regarding her 
that the verse requiring use of the hijab, the veil, was revealed, namely, 'O you 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 1 99 

who believe, do not enter the chambers of the Prophet unless you are invited 
to eat, without waiting while it be cooked'" (surat al-Ahzab\ XXXIII, v.53). 

Al-BayhaqI related, from a hadtth of Hammad, from Zayd b. Harith, from 
Anas, who said, "Zayd came to complain about Zaynab and the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) told him, 'Fear God, and keep your wife for yourself.'" 

Anas went on, "And if the Messenger of God (SAAS) had been concealing 
something, it would have been this. She used to claim superiority over the 
wives of the Prophet (SAAS) and say, 'It was your families that arranged your 
marriages, while God from above the seven heavens arranged mine.' He then 
said, 'Al-Bukhari related this from Ahmad, from Muhammad b. Abu Bakr 
al-Muqaddaml, from Hammad b. Zayd.'" 

Al-BayhaqI then related, through 'Affan, from Hammad b. Zayd, from 
Thabit, from Anas, who said, "Zayd came to complain to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) about Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh. The Prophet (SAAS) told him, 'Keep 
your family for yourself.' And there was revealed the verse, 'and you hide with- 
in yourself what God makes evident." 

He went on, "Al-Bukhart related it, from Muhammad b. <Abd al-Rahim, from 
Mu'la b. Mansur, from Muhammad, in an abbreviated form." Ibn Jarlr stated, 
"Ibn Hamid related to us, saying, 'Jarir related to us from Mughlra, from 
al-Sha^I, as follows, "Zaynab used to say to the Prophet (SAAS), 'I, alone of 
your wives, was led to you by three factors: my grandfather and yours was 
one person.' (She was referring to c Abd al-Muttalib, who was the father of the 
father of the Prophet (SAAS) and the father of her own mother, Umayya.) And 
I was married to you by God Almighty from heaven. And the envoy was Gabriel, 
upon whom be peace.""" 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Hashim (meaning Ibn al-Qasim) related to us, quoting 
al-Nadr, quoting Sulayman b. al-Mughlra, from Thabit, from Anas, who said, 
'When Zaynab's Hdda period was over, the Prophet (SAAS) said to Zayd, "Go 
and make mention of me to her." He went to her - she was leavening her dough 
at the time - and (later said), "When I saw her, I felt so emotional I could not 
look at her, because the Messenger of God (SAAS) had made mention of her. So 
I turned my back to her and withdrew, saying, 'Zaynab, rejoice! The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) makes reference to you (for marriage).' She exclaimed, 'But I 
have not done anything to cause my Lord, Almighty and Glorious is He, to so 
honour me!' Then she went to her place of prayer." Thereafter the (passage in 
the) Qui°an was revealed, and the Messenger of God (SAAS) came and went in 
to her without (seeking) permission.' " 

Anas went on, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) consummated his 
marriage with her, we made a feast of meat and bread for her sake. Some people 
left while some men stayed in the house talking following the food. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) then left, and I followed him as he went to each of the chambers 
of his wives to greet them. They called out to him, 'O Messenger of God, how 



200 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

did you find your family?' I don't know whether it was I who informed him that 
the people had left, or whether he was told of this (by someone else)." 

He went on, "Then he left and entered his chamber and I went to enter it 
with him. But he threw down the screen between myself and him. (Then it was) 
revealed about the hijab, the screen and the people were admonished by the 
words, 'Do not enter the chambers of the Prophet unless you are invited.' " 

Muslim and al-Nasa'i related it thus, through Sulayman b. al-Mughlra. 



An Account of the institution of the hijab, the screen, on the 
morning ofZaynab's wedding arranged by God. 

It was appropriate for the screen to be instituted during this wedding, as a 
protection for her and for her sisters, also known as the umahat al-mt&minin, the 
"mothers of the faithful". This was in accord with the previously held view of 
<Umar Ibn al-Khattab. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Muhammad b. <Abd Allah al-Raqqash related to him, 
quoting Mu^amir b. Sulayman, who said, "I heard my father say, 'Abu Mijlaz 
quoted Anas b. Malik as having said, 'When the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
married Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, he invited people in and they ate and sat 
there conversing. When he was ready to arise, they did not do so. When he 
saw that, he himself arose. When he did so, others also arose, though three men 
remained seated. When the Prophet (SAAS) came (back) to go inside, the people 
were still sitting, but they then got up and left. I went and told the Prophet 
(SAAS) that they had left and he returned and went inside. I went as if to 
go inside too, but he let down the screen between myself and him. Then 
God Almighty revealed, "O you who believe, do not enter the chambers of 
the Prophet."'" 

Al-Bukhari related this in other passages; and Muslim and al-Nasa 1 ! did 
so with other lines of transmission from Mu'tamir. Al-Bukhari then related it 
- he alone doing so - from a hadtth of Ayyub from Abu Qullaba, from Anas in 
similar form, 

Al-Bukhari stated that Abu Mu'ammar related to him, quoting c Abd al-Warith, 
quoting <Abd al- c Aziz b. Suhayb, from Anas b. Malik, who said, "A feast of 
bread and meat was given for the marriage of the Prophet (SAAS) to Zaynab, 
daughter of Jahsh. I was dispatched to invite people to come for the food, and 
they would come and eat then leave; others would come and do the same. 
I continued inviting until I could not find anyone left to invite. I then said, 'O 
Prophet of God, I don't find anyone to invite.' He responded, 'Take the food 
away.' But there were three men who stayed in the house conversing. So the 
Prophet (SAAS) left and went to the chamber of c A 5 isha and said, 'Peace be upon 
you, people of the house, along with the mercy and blessings of God.' She 
replied, 'Peace be upon you, along with the mercy and blessings of God. How 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 20 1 

did you find your family, may God bless you!' He then went and visited the 
chambers of each of his wives, spoke to them as he had to c A 5 isha and they 
responded to him as she had done. He then came back and the three men were 
still in the house conversing. The Prophet (SAAS) was exceedingly modest and 
he then left again, heading for ^A'isha's chamber. And I don't know whether 
I told him or whether he was (otherwise) informed that the people had left, but 
he came out, and, placing one foot over the threshold of the door and leaving the 
other outside it, he let down the screen between myself and him. Then the verse 
relating to the hijab was revealed." 

Al-Bukharl was alone in giving this from this line. He then related it, also 
uniquely, from Ishaq, he being Ibn Nasr, from <Abd Allah b. Bukayr al-Sahml, 
from Humayd b. Anas in similar form. That account refers to two men, instead 
of three. But God knows best. 

Al-Bukbari also gave the chain of a similar hadith from Ibrahim b. Tahman, 
from al-Ja'd Abu c Uthman, from Anas. 

Ibn Abu Hatim said, "My father related to us, quoting Abu al-Muzaffar, 
quoting Ja^far b. Sulayman, from al-Ja ( d Abu ^thman al-Yashkuri, from Anas 
b. Malik, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) and some of his wives gave 
a wedding feast. Umm Salim made some hays, a dish of date, butter and curds, 
and placed it in a bowl, saying, "Go to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and tell 
him that this is a little something for him from us.'" 

"Anas went on, 'People at that time were under strain. I took it to him, saying, 
"Messenger of God, Umm Salim has sent you this, with her greetings, and says, 
'This is a little something for you from us.'" He looked at it and said, "Place 
it over near the house." He then said, "Go and invite for me so-and-so" and he 
named a large number of men. He added, "And any other Muslims you may 
meet." So I invited those he had told me, along with the other Muslims I met. 
When I returned, I found the house, the stone benches and the courtyard filled 
with peopk. I (Ja c far b. Sulayman?) asked, "Abu c Uthman, how many must there 
have been? 1 ' "Some 300" he replied.' 

"Anas went on, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) then told me to accompany 
him and I took it (the bowl of food) to him. He placed his hand over it and 
prayed, saying, ma sh&d Allah] "Whatever God wills!" He then said, "Have 
them form groups of ten and invoke the name of God; every person should 
eat what he finds," They began invoking God's name and to eat until all had 
done so. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then told me, "Pick it up." I then went 
and took the bowl and looked inside. And I don't know whether there was more 
when I had put it down or when I picked it up! 

"'Some men stayed behind conversing in the house of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS). Meanwhile, his wife, whom he had brought in with them, was there 
turning her face to the wall. The men stayed so long chatting that they annoyed 
the Messenger of God (SAAS). He was the most modest of men; if they had 
realized it, they would have felt badly. Eventually he went off into his chambers 



202 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

to his wives. When they (the men there) saw him do so, they thought they 
had annoyed him, and so they moved to the door and left. Then he returned, 
let down the screen and went inside while I was there in the (outer) room. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) stayed inside his house for a while and God made a 
revelation of the Qur>an. He came out reciting this verse, "O you who believe, 
do not enter the chambers of the Prophet unless you are invited to eat, without 
waiting while it be cooked. If you are invited, then do enter and when you 
have eaten, disperse. Do not linger on for conversation. That would annoy the 
Prophet, though he would be too shy (to tell you so); but God is not shy of the 
truth. And if you should ask something of them (his wives), do so from behind 
a screen. That is more pure for both you and them. And you should not annoy 
the Messenger of God, nor should you ever marry his wives after him. That 
would indeed be offensive to God. And whether you divulge something or keep 
it concealed, God has knowledge of all.""' {surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.53, 54). 

Anas went on, "He recited these to me before the others. And so I have known 
them longer than them." 

Muslim, al-Tirmidhl and al-Nasa'i all related this tradition from Qutayba, 
from Ja<far b. Sulayman, from al-Ja^ Abu IJthman. Al-Tirmidhl categorized it 
as hasan sahih, "good and authentic". Muslim also related it, from Muhammad 
b. Rafi c , from c Abd al-Razzaq, from Mafoar, from al-Ja c d Aba ^Uthman. 

Al-Bukhari related this hadith, as did al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa?l, from several 
lines, from Abu Bishr al-Ahmasi al-Kuft, from Anas, in similar form. Ibn Abu 
Hatim related it from a hadith of Abu Nadra al- c Abdl, from Anas in similar form; 
they did not explicate it. Ibn Jarir related it from a hadith of c Amr b. Sa c ld and 
from a hadith of al-Zuhrl, from Anas, in similar form. 

I note that Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, may God be pleased with her, was one of 
the first women who migrated. She was a woman of great goodness and charity. 
At first her name was Tarra, then the Messenger of God (SAAS) renamed her 
Zaynab. She was known as Umm al-Hakam, "al-Hakam's mother". 

'A'isha, may God be pleased with her, said, "I never knew a woman more 
religious, more God-fearing, more truthful in her speech, more protective of 
family ties, more trustworthy or more charitable than Zaynab." 

It is established in both sahth collections, as will be seen in the hadith al-ifk™ 
"the calumnious account", that 'A^isha stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
asked Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, about me. She was the (only) wife of the 
Prophet who could compete with me for his favour. God encompassed her with 
goodness, and she said, 'O Messenger of God, in all truth and obedience, I say I 
never knew of her ( c A 5 isha) anything but good."' 

Muslim b. al-Hajjaj stated in his sahih collection that Mahmud b. c Aylan 
related to him, quoting al-Fadl b. Musa al-Shaybanl, quoting Talha b. Yahya b. 

49. See above, pp.217 et seq. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 203 

Talha, from Wisha 'mother of the believers', who said, "The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) stated, 'The women who will be the earliest to join me (in the Hereafter) 
are the ones who are the most generous.' We used to vie with one another over 
which of us was the most generous. In fact it was Zaynab, because she made 
things herself and gave to charity." 

Muslim is alone in giving this. 

Al-Waqidi and other authorities on the biography of the Prophet (SAAS), on 
the early military campaigns and on history, state that she died in 80 AH. The 
Commander of the Believers IJmar b. al-Khattab, may God be pleased with 
him, prayed over her. She was buried at al-Baq! c ; and she was the first woman 
for whom a bier was made. 



THE YEAR 6 AH. 

Al-Bayhaql stated, "People used to say that it was in Muharram of that year that 
there was the expedition of Muhammad b. Maslama to Najd. It was during this 
that they captured Thumama b. A thai al-Yamami." 

I note, however, that in the text of Ibn Ishaq from Said al-Maqburi, from 
Aba Hurayra, that he (Abu Hurayra) was present then and it was after the 
expedition against Khaybar that he (Abu Hurayra) emigrated. It (the expedition 
to Najd) would therefore have to be dated thereafter. But God knows best. 

It was during the early part of this year, for certain, that the expedition was 
mounted against Banu Lihyan. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The conquest of Banu Qurayza took place in Dhu aI-Qa c da 
and the start of Dhu al-Hijja. The polythetsts had charge of the pilgrimage that 
year, 5 AH that is." As is related above. 

He went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) remained in Medina thereafter 
for the months of Dhu al-Hijja, Muharram, Safar and both Rabl c al-Awwal 
and Rabi c al-Thani. In Jumada al-Uwla, at the start of six months following the 
conquest of Banu Qurayza, he went forth against Banu Lihyan seeking revenge 
for Khubayb and his companions who were killed at al-Raji'. In order to surprise 
the enemy, he made it appear that he was heading for Syria." 

According to Ibn Hisham, he left Ibn Umm Maktflm in command of Medina. 

What Ibn Ishaq is referring to here is as follows. When the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) had reached their homes (in his attack on Banu Lihyan) they retreated 
before him and sought refuge in the mountain heights. He therefore turned 
off to c Usfan, where he encountered a force of polytheists. It was there that he 
performed the salat al-khawf, the "fear prayer". 

This expedition has been described above as having occurred in 4 AH. 
Al-Bayhaqi related it there. 

But what Ibn Ishaq relates is most probable, namely that it took place after 
the battle of al-khandaq. It is established that he did perform the salat al-khawf 
at 'Usfan on the; expedition against Banu Lihyan. It should best, therefore, be 



204 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

included here and removed from there, in accord with the Imam, the prime 
authority, on the military expeditions in his own era and thereafter. As al-ShafPi, 
may God be pleased with him, stated, "Whoever wants information of the 
military expeditions is dependent upon Muhammad b. Ishaq." 

Ka'b b. Malik spoke the following verses on the expedition against Bantl 
Lihyan: 

"If Banu Lihyan had stayed they would have met at their 
dwellings a band of brave fighting men 

Mounted on fast horses; their hearts would have filled 
with terror at the great force of their host, vast as 
heaven's gate. 

But they were mere weasels, keeping to the high and 
inaccessible Hijaz passes." 



THE EXPEDITION AGAINST DHO QARAD. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then proceeded to Medina. 
He had been there only a few nights when < Uyayna b. Hisn b. Hudhayfa b. Badr 
al-Fazarl and some horsemen of Ghatafan attacked milch-camels belonging to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) at al-Ghaba. A man of Banu Ghifar and his wife 
had been guarding the camels; the raiders killed him and abducted his wife along 
with the camels. 

" c Asim b. <Umar b. Qatada related the following to me, as did <Abd Allah 
b. Abu Bakr, along with another man I trust, from c Abd Allah b. Ka*b b. Malik; 
each of these sources gave part of this account. The first to become aware what 
they had done was Salama b. c Amr b. al-Akwa c al-Aslaml who was heading for 
al-Ghaba armed with his bow and arrows and accompanied by a slave belonging 
to Talha b. c Ubayd Allah leading his horse. When he had climbed up to the 
al-Wada c pass, he saw some of their horsemen. Then he looked down towards 
Sal c and cried out (in alarm), l Wa sabahaV* He hurried off in pursuit of the 
raiders, like a lion. When he caught up with them, he began shooting his arrows 
at them, exclaiming, 'Take that! I'm Ibn al-Akwa c ! Today the wicked will die!' 

"Whenever their horsemen headed for him he would flee, then return 
and shoot again at them whenever he could, repeating the same battle cry. One 
of them exclaimed (using a pun on his name, Ibn al-Akwa') 'Is he trying to 
yukawwhi, "to divert us", so early in the day!' 

"News of Ibn al-Akwa^s battle cry reached the Messenger of God (SAAS) in 
Medina, and he called out there: 'Alarm! Alarm!' At that the cavalry hurried to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS). The first to reach him was al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad, 
followed by c Abbad b. Bishr, Sa c d b. Zayd, Usayd b. Zuhayr (though there is 
some doubt about this man), c Ukasha b. Mihsan, Muhriz b. Nadla, brother of 

50. A cry for help. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 205 

Banu Asad b. Khuzayma, Abu Qatada al-Harith b. Rib% brother of Banu Salama, 
Abu 'Ayyash ^bayd b. Zayd b. Samit, brother of Banu Zurayq. 

"When they were gathered around the Messenger of God (SAAS), he 
appointed Sa<d b. Zayd as their leader. He then told them, 'Get out and pursue 
them, and wait till I join you with our men.' 

"I have been told by some men of Banu Zurayq that the Prophet (SAAS) said 
the following to Abu ^yyash: 'What if I were to give this horse over to a better 
rider than yourself so that he can catch up the enemy?' Abu Ayyash says, 'I 
responded, "Messenger of God (SAAS), I'm the best of all horsemen!" Then 
I slapped my horse and I swear by God, he'd not carried me 50 arms-lengths 
before he tossed me! I was amazed.' 

"Some men of (Banu) Zurayq say that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
gave over Abu Ayyash's horse to Mu'adh b. Mafo, or to 'A^idh b. Ma% b. Qays 
b. Khalda, the eighth (of the horsemen there). Some count Salama b. al-Akwa c 
as the eighth and drop Usayd b. Zuhayr. But God knows best. Salama b. 
al-Akwa c was not a rider that day; he was the first to catch up with the raiders 
on foot." 

The account continues, "The horsemen left and caught up with the enemy. 
c Asim b. ^Jrnar b. Qatada related to me that the first rider to catch up with them 
was Muhriz b. Nadla, known as al-Akhram, and also as Qumayr. The horse 
he rode belonged to Mahmud b. Maslama. The name of the horse was Dhu 
al-Lamma. When he reached the enemy, he said, 'Stop, you tribe of no-goods, 
and let the ansar and the muhajirin pursuing you catch up with you!' One of 
the raiders then attacked and killed him. His horse wheeled and could not be 
caught; it raced off without stopping until it reached a stable of Banu ( Abd 
al-Ashhal; that is, it went back to the stall in Medina where it had been." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "No other Muslim than him was killed that day." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Some other scholars refer to Waqqas b. Mujjaziz 
al-Mudliji as having been killed along with him." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "A source I trust related to me, quoting c Abd Allah 
b. Ka'b b. Malik, that Muhriz was riding a horse named al-Janah, belonging to 
< Ukasha b. Mihsan. Muhriz was killed and Janah was captured. But God knows 
best." 

"When the cavalry engaged, Abu Qatada killed Habib b. 'Uyayna, covered 
him with his cloak, then caught up with the rest. Soon the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) arrived there with the other Muslim warriors." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He placed Ibn Umm Maktum in command of Medina. 

"When the Muslim force found Habib (b. Uyayna) covered with Abu Qatada's 
cloak, they were shocked, believing the latter had been killed. But the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) told them, 'It's not Abu Qatada; it's someone he has killed, then 
covered with his cloak to let you know that he did it.'" 

51. There seems to be some confusion in Ibn Ishaq's account as to the name of the father of 
Waqqas and whether or not he was killed in this engagement. 



206 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "'Ukasha b. Mihsan then caught up with Awbar and his 
son ( Amr who were riding the same camel. He pierced both with his lance, 
killing them both together. They then retrieved some of the milch-camels. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) proceeded on and encamped at Mt. Dhu Qarad; he 
was joined by his force and they remained there for a day and a night. Salama b. 
al-Akwa* told him, 'Messenger of God, if you were to send me on with 100 men, 
I could recover the rest of the herd and kill the enemy.' But the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), so I have been told, replied, 'By now they are being served their 
evening drinks among Ghatafan.' He then provided a slaughtered camel for each 
100 men and they remained there. After that he returned to Medina. 

"The wife (who had been abducted) of the Ghifari guard then arrived in 
Medina on one of the camels of the Prophet (SAAS), to whom she reported. When 
she had finished her account, she told him, 'Messenger of God, I promised God 
I would slaughter this camel if God allowed me to escape on it.' He smiled and 
responded, 'But you would be rewarding the camel badly, since God bore you 
away and let you escape on it, if you slaughtered her. No vow in disobedience 
of God is valid, nor is one relating to something you do not own. She is one of 
my camels. Go back to your family, with God's blessings.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The hadith on this subject was transmitted from Abu 
al-Zubayr al-Makkl from al-Hasan al~Basrl." 

This, then, is this story with its text and line of transmission as given by Ibn 
Ishaq. 

Al-Bukharl, God be pleased with him, states following his materials relating to 
the al-Hudaybiyya incident and before his account of the expedition to Khaybar, 
"The expedition to Dhu Qarad; this incident relates to the enemy's raid on the 
milch-camels of the Prophet (SAAS), three days before the Battle of Khaybar. 
Qutayba b. Sa c id related to us, quoting Hatim, from Yazid b. Abu "Ubayd, who 
said, 'I heard Salama b. al-Akwa c say, "Once I left (town) before the call had been 
made for the al-fajr, dawn, prayer. The milch-camels belonging to the Prophet 
(SAAS) used to graze at Dhu Ojrad. (On the way) I was met by a slave belonging 
to c Abd al-Rahman b. c Awf, who said, 'The milch-camels of the Prophet (SAAS) 
have been stolen!' 'Who took them?' I asked. 'It was Banu Ghatafan,' he replied. 
I called out three times, l Wa sabahaP I (shouted so loudly I) made all between 
Medina's two mountains hear me. I then rushed on ahead until I caught them 
up as they were watering their camels. I began shooting my arrows at them; I was 
an archer. (As I did so) I called out, in rajaz, doggerel verse, 'I'm Ibn aI-Akwa c , 
and today the wicked will die!' I (continued shooting until) I had retrieved the 
milch-camels and I also seized from them thirty cloaks. 

"'"When the Prophet (SAAS) and his men arrived, I told him, 'Messenger 
of God, I have prevented the enemy getting water. They will be thirsty. Send 
a force after them now.' He replied, 'Ibn al-Akwa c , you mastered them; now 
be charitable!' 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 207 

'""We then went back; the Messenger of God (SAAS) seated me on his camel 
along with himself for the journey back to Medina."'" 

Muslim related it thus from Qutayba. Al-Bukharl related it from Abu 'Asim 
al-Sahli, from Yazld b. Abu 'Ubayda, from his freed~man Salama in similar 
terms. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Hashim b. al-Qasim related to him, quoting <Ikrima 
b. c Ammar, quoting Iyyas b. Salama b. al-Akwa c , who reported that his father 
had said to him, "At the time of the Hudaybiyya expedition, we came to Medina 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS). Then I and Rabah, a slave of his, left, 
without his prior knowledge. I went with a horse belonging to Talha b. c Ubayd 
Allah; I wanted to graze it with the camels. But when it was dark c Abd al-Rahman 
b. 'Uyayna raided the camels of the Messenger of God (SAAS). He killed their 
herdsman and drove them away, he and the horsemen he had accompanying 
him. I told Rabah to ride the horse back to Talha and to inform the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) that his herd had been raided. 

"I then climbed a hill, turned towards Medina and shouted three times, ' Ya 
sabahaV I then pursued the enemy, bearing my sword and arrows. I began 
shooting at them and wounding them; this was when there were plenty of trees 
about. When one of the horsemen would come back at me, I'd sit at the base 
of a tree and shoot. And every rider who came near I shot. As I shot at them, 
I would call out, Tm Ibn al-Akwa c ! Today the wicked will die!' When I would 
attack one of their men on his mount, my arrows would fall on him until I 
pierced him in the shoulder, then I'd cry out, 'Take that! I'm Ibn al-Akwa c , and 
today the wicked will die!' 

"While I was in the trees, I plastered them with my arrows; when the mountain 
trails were narrow, I would climb up the mountain side and hurl down rocks 
on them. My engagement with them continued, with me following them and 
calling out my battle cry, until God so arranged it that I retrieved and left behind 
me all of the property of the Messenger of God (SAAS), having saved it from 
their control. I went on shooting at them until I had got over 30 of their spears 
and over 30 cloaks they were bearing. All of this they cast away I placed beneath 
stones, gathering everything into position in the path the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) would take. Later in the morning 'Uyayna b. Badr al-Fazari came to 
reinforce them; at that point they were in a narrow defile. I climbed the mountain 
so that I was above them, ^yayna asked them, 'What's this I see?' They replied, 
'We've had too much trouble from this fellow. He's been with us from dawn till 
now. He's seized everything we had and placed it all behind himself. ' ^yayna 
commented, 'Well, if this fellow saw that he was being hunted, he'd have left you 
alone. Some of you should attack him.' A group of four of them did so, climbing 
up the mountain. 

"Having made them hear my call, I asked them, 'Well, do you know me?' 
'Who are you?' they asked. 'I'm Ibn al-AkwaV I told them. 'By Him who 



208 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

honoured Muhammad, none of you who pursue me will catch me, whereas 
no one I hunt will escape me!' One of them commented, 'I agree!' 

"So I had not left that position of mine when I saw the cavalry of the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), coming through the trees. Leading them was al-Akhram 
al-Asadi, followed by Aba Qatada, the horse-master of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS). After him came al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad al-Kindi. The polytheists then 
withdrew and I came down from the mountain and took hold of the reins of 
al-Akhram's horse. I told him, 'Take care of the enemy' - meaning 'watch out for 
them*; 'I'm worried they might cut you off. Take it slowly until the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) and his men catch up with you.' But he replied, 'Salama, if you 
truly had faith in God and the last day and knew that heaven and hell are real, 
then you would not try to block my way to martyrdom!' 

"So I released the reins of his horse and he charged at c Abd al-Rahman b. 
'Uvayna who turned to face him. They exchanged a few thrusts. Al-Akhram 
wounded £ Abd al-Rahman who then thrust back at him and killed him. c Abd 
al-Rahman mounted al-Akhram's horse, but Abu Qatada closed with him and 
they exchanged a couple of thrusts. Abu Qatada was wounded, but he killed 
c Abd al-Rahman and mounted al-Akhram's horse. 

"I then ran out in pursuit of the enemy, continuing until I saw some dust 
rising from the advance of the warriors of the Messenger of God (SAAS). Before 
sunset they turned off into a defile where there was water, a place called Dhu 
Qarad, where they wanted to drink. When they saw me running ahead after the 
enemy, they turned away from there and halted in the mountain pass where 
there was a well. The sun set. I caught up with one of the enemy and shot at 
him, yelling, 'Take that! I'm Ibn al-Akwa c ! And today the wicked will die!' He 
responded, 'Bukm, "tomorrow", aI-Akwa c 's mother will be bereaved!' 'Right you 
are, you're your own enemy,' I replied. The man I had shot at was named Bukra. 
I shot a second arrow at him and both stuck in him. The enemy abandoned 
two horses, and I brought these back to the Messenger of God (SAAS), who was 
at the water-hole from which I had diverted them, at Dhu Qarad. He was there 
with a force of 500 men. Bilal had slaughtered a camel I had retrieved; he was 
busy cooking its liver and its hump for the Prophet (SAAS). 

"I went over to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and told him, 'Please let 
me choose 100 of your men to attack the enemy in the dark. I've killed all their 
guards.' He replied, 'Would you really do that, Salama?' 'I certainly would, by 
Him who honoured you!' I replied. The Messenger of God (SAAS) laughed 
so heartily I could see his molars in the firelight. He then said, 'They are being 
served drinks now in Ghatafan territory.' A man of Ghatafan then arrived and 
said, 'The enemy force passed by so-and-so the Ghatafanl and he slaughtered 
a camel for them. But when they began removing its skin, they discovered an 
ulcerous wound. So they abandoned it and fled.' 

"Next day the Messenger of God (SAAS) stated, 'Abu Qatada is the finest of 
our horsemen, while the best of our foot-warriors is Salama.' And he awarded 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 3 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 209 

me both the share for a horseman and that for a foot-warrior. He then set me 
to ride behind himself on (his camel) al- c Adba 3 on our way back to Medina. 

"When we were about half a day's travel from the town, one of our warriors, 
an ansari, who had never been beaten in a race, began calling out, 'Will someone 
race me? Won't someone race me into the town?' He repeated this several times 
while I was there riding behind the Messenger of God (SAAS). I asked the man, 
'Don't you respect the noble or fear the powerful?' 'No, I don't', he replied, 
'except for the Messenger of God (SAAS)!' I then asked, 'Messenger of God, do 
please, for the sake of my mother and my father, let me race with the fellow!' 'If 
you like,' he replied. 'I'll come to you,' I told the man. At that he jumped off his 
mount and I bent my leg and jumped down from the camel. I then let him get 
well ahead, holding myself back, then I ran hard, caught up with him and slapped 
him on the shoulder, saying, 'I beat you, by God!' - or I made some such 
comment. The man laughed and said, 'I agree.' So we went on into Medina." 

Muslim related this hadith in this way with lines from 'Ikrima b. c Ammar in 
similar form. His version ends, "... so I beat him into Medina and we remained 
there only three days before we left for Khaybar." Ahmad also has this text. 

Al-Bukhari and al-Bayhaqi relate this engagement after al-Hudaybiyya and 
before Khaybar, similarly to Ibn Ishaq. But God knows best. Thus it should be 
placed later, to early in 7 AH, for Khaybar took place in Safar of that year. 

Regarding the woman who escaped on the camel of the Prophet (SAAS), having 
sworn to slaughter it for its having allowed her to get away, this story is related 
by Ibn Ishaq from Abu al-Zubayr, with an incomplete chain of authorities back 
to al-Hasan al-Basrl. It is also given with a complete line through other sources. 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Affan related to us, quoting Hammad b. Zayd, quoting 
Ayyub, from Abu Qalaba, from Abu al-Halab, from qjmran b. Husayn, who 
said, '(The camel named) al- c Adba> had belonged to a man of Banu ^Uqayl 
and had been one of the mounts racing at the hajj fair; the Messenger of God, 
God's peace and blessings be upon him, had taken it when he had captured 
him. When the Messenger of God (SAAS), riding a donkey with a velvet saddle 
cloth, had later passed by the man, who was in fetters, the latter had called out 
to him, "Hey, Muhammad, why did you take me and the hajj racing camel?" 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, "We've seized you on account of your 
allies Thaqlf.""' 

(The narrator continued) "Thaqif had taken captive two of the Companions 
of the Prophet (SAAS). The prisoner then said, along with other things, 'But 
Pm a Muslim!' The Messenger of God (SAAS) told him, 'If you were to have 
said that when you had your freedom, you would have been very successful.' 
As the Messenger of God (SAAS) went on his way, the man called out, 
'Muhammad, I'm hungry and I'm thirsty! Give me some food and drink!' The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) responded, 'Yes, that's what you're after!' Then the 
two men were ransomed, and the Messenger of God (SAAS) retained al-'Adba 5 
for his own journeys. 



2 1 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"After that the polytheists raided the Medina milch-camels and made off 
with them, including al^Adbji 5 , and they also took captive a Muslim woman. 
When they made camp, they set his camels free in their enclosures. One night 
after they were asleep, she went out to the camels. Each one grunted until she 
reached al- c Adba>. She had come upon a female riding camel that was well used 
to being ridden. She mounted it and directed it towards Medina. She then 
vowed that if God were to allow her to escape on it, she would slaughter it. When 
she reached Medina, the camel was recognized as belonging to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS). He was told of her vow (or she came to him and told him of it) and 
he stated, 'It was a bad vow she' (or 'you') 'made to slaughter it if God allowed 
her to escape on it.' He went on, 'No vow in disobedience to God is valid, nor is 
one relating to what one does not own.'" 

Muslim related this from Abu al-Rabi* al-Zahrani, from Hammad b. Zayd. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Among the verses spoken relating to the Dhu Qarad incident 
were the following by Hassan b. Thabit, 

'Had the frogs of their hooves not suffered while being 
led, south of Saya, (our horses) 

Would have met you bearing fully armed warriors 
carrying the banner, men of fine ancestry. 

And those offspring of sin would have rejoiced that we 
were at peace that morning when al-Miqdad's horsemen 
came. 

There were eight of us, while they were numerous and 
loud-mouthed, but they were pierced by our lances and 
they fled. 

We belonged to that people who were pursuing them and 
who gave free rein to each horse. 

Indeed, by the lord of the camels that race to Mina, 
(we will) cross by the passes over the mountains 

Until we make our mounts urinate amidst your horses and 
make off with your women and children, 

Moving quickly, our garments tucked up, our horses 
swift and moving proudly, in valley or batdefield, 

Having worn down their quarters and made their backs 
bare on days being led and on others at the chase. 

Our steeds, moreover, get milk to drink and warfare is 
fanned by the breeze. 

And the steel blades of our swords slice through 
shields of iron and recalcitrant heads. 

God places barriers in their way on account of what is 
sacrosanct, and for the dignity of the All-Merciful. 

They once were contented at home, but on the day of Dhu 
Qarad their faces were like slaves.'" 



IMAM ABD AL-FIDA 1 ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 2 1 1 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Sa^ b. Zayd, leader of the riders moving in advance of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), was enraged at Hassan and swore he would never 
speak to him. He said, 'He raves away about my horses and riders and then 
credits al-Miqdad'. Hassan then apologized to him, claiming that al-Miqdad's 
name matched the rhyme. He then spoke verses praising Sa c d b. Zayd, 

'If you need the fiercest and most determined, or a man 
of real ability, then seek out 

Sa c d b. Zayd, who never gives in.' 

"But the verses did him no good. 

"Hassan b. Thabit also spoke the following about the incident at Dhu Qarad. 

'Did <Uyayna imagine when he visited it that he would 
demolish the castles there? 

You were proved to lie in what you claimed as true; 
you said, "We will seize much booty!" 

You hated Medina when you visited it, and became used 
to the roar of lions there. 

Quickly they retreated, like speeding ostriches, and 
they uncovered no camels' hideout. 

The messenger of the lord was the leader over us; how 
beloved a leader we find him! 

A messenger who proves true his mission and who recites 
a book that illuminates and enlightens.' 

"Ka<b b. Malik spoke the following verses on the Dhu Qarad incident in praise 
of the Muslim horsemen that day, 

'Do those offspring of sin consider that we on 
horseback are not the match for their knights? 

We are men who see no disgrace in death and we do not 
bend before the rigid lance. 

We serve our guests the choicest of meats, and we 
strike off the heads of happy braggards! 

We turn back bemedalled warriors when they charge with 
blows that dispel the courage of the brave, 

With heroes who protect the banner, men of glory, 
fierce as wolves of the jungle. 

They protect their reputation and their lands with 
swords that slice off the tops of helmets wearing 
heads. 

Ask of Band Badr, if you meet them, what our brothers 
did on the day of battle. 

When you go forth tell the truth to those you meet; do 
not hide your news in your meetings. 

Say we escaped the claws of a lion in his lair, whose 
deep anger remains unalienated."' 



2 1 2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

THE EXPEDITION AGAINST BANU AL-MUSTALIQ OF KHUZA'A. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "This was the expedition to al-Muraysl c ." 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "That took place in 6 AH." 

Musa b. 'Uqba, however, set it in 4 AH. 

Al-Nu'man b. Rashid stated, quoting al-Zuhrl, "The hadith al-ifk, 52 the 
'calumnious report', occurred during the expedition to al-Muraysi c ." Similarly 
al-Bukhari related it from the military chronicle of Musa b. "XJqba, to the effect 
that it took place in 4 ah. However, it was related from both him and from ^Urwa 
that it occurred in Sha'ban, 5 AH. Al-Waqidi stated, "It took place when two nights 
remained of Sha'ban in 5 AH, and he (the Prophet (SAAS)) was accompanied 
by 700 men." 

Muhammad b. Ishaq b. Yasar stated, following his account of the Dhu Qarad 
incident, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) remained in Medina for part of 
Jumada al-Akhira and Rajab, whereafter he made an expedition against Banu 
al-Mustaliq of Khuza%, in Sha'ban, 6 AH." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He appointed Abu Dharr al-Ghifarl in command of 
Medina; Numayla b. c Abd Allah al-Laythi, however, is also named." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " c Asim b. c Uraar b. Qatada, c Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr and 
Muhammad b. Yahya b. Hibban related to me, each narrating part of the account 
relating to the expedition against Banu al-Mustaliq, as follows, 'The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) was informed that Banu al-Mustaliq were assembling to attack 
him, under the leadership of al-Harith b. Abu Dirar, the father of Juwayriyya, 
whom the Messenger of God (SAAS) later married. When he heard of their 
activity, he went forth against them, engaging them at one of their water sources 
at a place called al-Muraysi*, near Qudayd, towards the coast. The forces met and 
did battle; God defeated Banu al-Mustaliq, a number of them being killed, and 
the Prophet (SAAS) took over as booty their women, children and possessions.'" 

Al-Waqidi stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth with two 
nights having passed of Sha'ban in 5 AH, with a force of 700 of his Companions 
against Banu al-Mustaliq. They were allied to Banu Mudlij. When he reached 
them, he entrusted the banner of the muhajirin to Abu Bakr, the Trusting - though 
some say to c Ammar b. Yasir - and that of the ansar to Sa<d b. 'Ubada. He then 
ordered 'Umar b. al-Khattab to tell the enemy, 'Cry out the words, "La Ilaha ilia 
Allah)?, "There is no god but God". By this you will protect yourselves and your 
property.' But they refused and cast arrows instead. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then ordered the Muslims to attack. They 
did so as one. And not one man escaped them; they killed ten and captured the 
rest. Only one of the Muslims was killed." 

It is related in both sahih collections, from a hadith of <Abd Allah b. c Awn, 
who said, "I wrote to Nafi c asking him about the battle-cry prior to the fighting. 
He replied, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) attacked Banu al-Mustaliq while 

52. See above, p.217 et seq. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 213 

they were engrossed in their pleasures, taking water at the well. He killed their 
warriors and took captives. It was that day he acquired - I think that is what 
he said - Juwayriyya, daughter of al-Harith. c Abd Allah b. c Uraar narrated this 
to me, and he was with that army.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "One of the Muslims, Hisham b. Subaba, was struck down 
that day. He was killed in error by one of the ansar who thought him to be an 
enemy." 

Ibn Ishaq related that Hisham b. Subaba's brother, Miqyas b. Subaba, arrived 
from Mecca professing Islam and requested blood-money from the Messenger 
of God (S AAS), since his brother had been killed in error. He did pay blood-wit 
and Miqyas stayed on a short while but then attacked and murdered his 
brother's killer. He then returned, an apostate, to Mecca and spoke the following 
verses, 

"It assuaged me that he was felled in the valley, his 
clothing stained with the blood of his jugular. 

My mind was troubled before I killed him; my worries 
kept me from enjoying my bed. 

By killing him I eased my tension and got my revenge; 
and I was prompt to return to the idols. 

Through him I avenged Fihr and charged his blood-wit to 
the chiefs of Banu al-Najjar, the lords of Fari ( casde." 53 

I note that this is why this Miqyas was one of the four persons whom the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had executed on the day of the conquest of Mecca, 
(having said) "... even if they be wrapped in the drapes of the katbaV 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "While the warriors were there at the well, a group of men 
arrived to get water. 'Umar b. al-Khattab had with him a hired man of Banu 
Ghifar named Jahjah b. Mas'ud who led his horse. Jahjah and Sinan b. Wabr 
al-Juhani, an ally of Banu c Awf b. al-Khazraj, got in one another's way at the 
water-hole and began fighting. Al-Juhani called out, 'Help, ansar friends!' Jahjah 
shouted, 'Help, muhajirl friends!' At this c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul became 
angry; he had with him a number of his people, including Zayd b. Arqam, a boy. 
'Did they really cause this?' he asked. 'They challenge us and outnumber us 
in our own lands! I swear by God, the old maxim well applies to us and these 
Quraysh ruffians: "fatten your dog and you it will eat!" I swear, when we return 
to Medina the stronger will drive out the weaker!' He then approached some of 
his people and told them, 'See what you have done to yourselves! You let them 
settle among you and shared your property with them. I swear, if you had kept 
what you owned from them, they would have gone some place else!' 

"Zayd b. Arqam overheard this and so informed the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), who had IJmar b. al-Khattab with him at the time. "Umar advised him, 

53. In Medina. 



2 1 4 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'Order c Abbad b. Bishr to kill him!' But the Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 
'How would it be, 'Umar, to have people say that Muhammad kills his own 
Companions. No, give orders to leave instead.' This was at a time of day when 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) was not accustomed to begin a journey. So 
everyone then set off. 

" c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul went to see the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
when he was told that Zayd b. Arqam had reported what he had been heard to 
say. He swore by God that he had not said any such thing and had not spoken 
to Zayd. c Abd Allah b. Ubayy was a great chief of his people, and those ansar of 
his men present with the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Messenger of God, 
perhaps the lad mistook what was said, or did not memorize it correctly.' They 
said this to give support and protection for c Abd Allah b. Ubayy. 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had set forth and travelled some 
distance, he was met by Usayd b. Hudayr who addressed him as a prophet and 
greeted him in peace. He said, 'Messenger of God, aren't you out travelling at an 
unpleasant time when you don't usually do so?' The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
responded to him, 'Have you heard what your friend said?' 'What friend was that 
then?' Usayd asked. ' e Abd Allah b. Ubayy,' he replied. 'Well, what did he say?' 
he asked. 'He claimed that when he gets back to Medina, the stronger will drive 
out the weaker.' Usayd responded, 'Well, I swear by God, Messenger of God, 
you'll drive him out if you wish. He's certainly the weak one, and you the 
strong.' He went on, 'Be kind, Messenger of God! I swear, God brought you to 
us while his people were stringing pearls with which to make a crown for him. 
And so he considers that you have robbed him of his kingdom.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) proceeded on throughout that day and that 
night and the following morning until they suffered greatly from the sun. He 
then had them make a halt and they all fell asleep as soon as they dismounted. 
He had only behaved in this way to keep the minds of his men off discussion of 
what c Abd Allah b. Ubayy had said the previous day. After that, the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) took his men off into Hijaz and encamped at a water-hole there, 
a little above al-Naqi*, at a place called Baq^. When he left there a gale arose that 
much discomforted and frightened the men. He told them, 'Don't be afraid at it; 
it is blowing this way due to the death of one of the unbelievers' chiefs.' When they 
reached Medina, they discovered that Rifa'ia b. Zayd b. Thabit, of Banu Qaynuqa*, 
a leader of the Jews and a supporter of the hypocrites, had died that day." 

Musa b. ( Uqba and al-Waqidl related this similarly. 

Muslim related, through al-A'mash, from Abu Sufyan, from Jabir, much the 
same story, although he did not name the hypocrite who had died. He stated, "A 
gale blew up while the Messenger of God (SAAS) was on one of his travels, and 
he said, 'This is because of the death of a hypocrite.' And when we reached 
Medina, we found that one of the chief hypocrites had died." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Then the sura was revealed in which God made mention 
of the hypocrites, with reference to Ibn Ubayy and those like him. The Messenger 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 215 

of God (SAAS) took hold of the ear of Zayd b. Arqam and said, 'This is he 
who devoted his ear to God!'" 

I comment that I have written on this in my Tafsir {Exegesis) at sufficient 
length to obviate need to repeat it here. We have listed the various lines of 
transmission of this hadith from Zayd b. Arqam; to God belong all praise and 
credit. Should anyone wish to include this material here, he is at liberty to do 
so. And to God all credit is due. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, " c Asim b. ^mar b. Qatada related to me that c Abd Allah b. 
c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul came to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and 
said, 'Messenger of God, I have heard that you want to kill c Abd Allah b. Ubayy 
because of what you were informed about him. If that is so, then order me to do 
it and I will bring you his head. I swear that Khazraj well know that there is no 
man more loyal to his father than me. I fear that if you order someone other than 
myself to do it and he does kill him, then my spirit will not allow me to look upon 
the killer of c Abd Allah b. Ubayy walking freely among people and so I will then 
kill a believer in exchange for an unbeliever, and so enter hell!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 'On the contrary, we will treat 
him kindly and enjoy his company so long as he stays with us.' Thereafter, if 
anything bad had happened, c Abd Allah's people would blame and reproach him. 
So the Messenger of God (SAAS), having been informed that they were treating 
him that way, asked ^mar b. al-Khattab, 'Well, what do you think now, c Umar? 
I swear, if I had killed him the day you suggested it, there would have been much 
resentment. But if I were to order his death today, they would all kill him!' 
'Umar responded, 'Well, I've certainly learned that orders you give are more 
blessed than mine would be!'" 

qkrima, Ibn Zayd and others relate that this son, c Abd Allah, stood in the way 
of his father c Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul at the narrow entry into Medina and 
told him, "Stop! By God, you'll not enter until the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
gives you permission to do so!" When the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived, 
c Abd Allah b. Ubayy did indeed ask his permission to enter and he sent to him 
allowing him to do so. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "A number of the Banu al-Mustaliq were killed that day. 
<All b. Abu Talib killed two of them - Malik and his son." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The battle-cry of the Muslims was, ' Ya Mansur\ Amit\ 
Amff 'O conqueror! Kill! Kill!'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) took many captives that 
day and he distributed them among the Muslims." 

Al-Bukharl stated that Qutayba b. Said related to him, quoting Ismail b. 
Ja'Tar, from Rabi'a b. Abu <Abd al-Rahman, from Muhammad b. Yahya b. 
Hibban, from Ibn Muhayriz, who said, "I went into the mosque and there I 
saw Abu Said al-Khudari. I sat with him and asked him about a/- ( azl, coitus 
interruptus. Abu Said replied, 'We went forth with the Messenger of God 



2 1 6 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

(SAAS) on the expedition to Banu al-Mustaliq. We took many of the bedouin 
captive and we lusted after the women; celibacy was very hard on us. We liked 
to practise al- c azl, but wondered whether we should do this without asking the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), since he was there with us. So we did ask him about 
it, and he replied, 'You might well not do that; for any soul that is going to exist 
till Judgement Day will so exist.'" 
He (Muslim) also related this hadith. 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "One of those taken captive that day was Juwayriyya, 
daughter of al-Harith b. Abu Dirar. Muhammad b. Ja c far b. al-Zubayr related to 
me, from HJrwa, who quoted 'A^isha as saying, 'When the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) distributed the captives taken from Banu al-Mustaliq, Juwayriyya, 
daughter of al-Harith, was awarded to Thabit b. Qays b. Shammas, or to a cousin 
of his and she wrote a muqabala 54 deed giving herself to him. She was a very sweet 
and attractive woman; every man who saw her fell for her. She came to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) to ask his help in preparing the document. And, 
I swear, as soon as I saw her at the door of my room, I disliked her and 
recognized that he would see in her what I did. When she went in to him, she 
said, "Messenger of God, I am Juwayriyya, daughter of al-Harith b. Abu Dirar, 
the leader of his people. You can see what my plight is now; I have fallen to 
the lot of Thabit b. Qays b. Shammas" - or to his cousin — "and I've prepared 
a deed awarding myself to him. I've come to ask your help in writing it." 

"'He then asked her, "Would you prefer better?" "What would that be, 
Messenger of God?" she asked. "I will take responsibility for your deed myself 
and marry you," he replied. "Yes, Messenger of God," she commented, "I agree." 

"'The news spread that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had married 
Juwayriyya, daughter of al-Harith. And so people said, "Then they (i.e. our 
captives) are relatives of the Messenger of God (SAAS)!" And so they released 
their captives. 

"'And so by his marriage to her, he released 100 of her relatives from Banu 
al-Mustaliq. I know no woman who brought greater blessings to her people 
than she.'" 

Thereafter Ibn Ishaq reported the incident of al-ifk in its entirety as part of 
his narration of this expedition. Al-Bukhari and several other scholars did the 
same. I have laid out the various lines of transmission in my Tafsir (Exegesis) of 
surat al-Nur (XXIV) and this could be joined to what was mentioned here. And 
God is the source of help. 

Al-Waqidl stated, "Haram related to us, from Hisham b. ^Urwa, from his 
father, who said, 'Juwayriyya, daughter of al-Harith, stated, "For three nights 
before the arrival of the Prophet (SAAS), I seemed to see the moon travel from 
Yathrib and fall into my lap. I did not like to tell anyone of this prior to the 

54. A contract between slave and master wherein the former agrees to pay the latter a certain 
sum for emancipation. 



IMA M ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA qL IBN KATHI R 217 

arrival of the Messenger of God (SAAS). But when we were taken captive, I felt 
good about the visions. Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) freed me and 
married me. I swear, I never spoke to him on behalf of my people; it was the 
Muslims themselves who sent messages to them. The first I knew of it was when 
a slave girl belonging to one of my female cousins told me the news. And I gave 
thanks to God Almighty.""' 

Al-Waqidi stated, "It is said that the Messenger of God (SAAS) gave as dowry 
for her the freeing of 40 of Banu al-Mustaliq." 

Musa b. 'Uqba related, quoting Banu al-Mustaliq, that her father sought 
her out and paid ransom for her and that then the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
sought her in marriage and he (her father) then married him to her. 



THE QISSAT AL-IFK, THE 'CALUMNIOUS REPORT. 

This is the text of Muhammad b. Ishaq's account of the calumny. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Al-Zuhii related to me the following from c Alqama 
b. Waqqas, Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, ^rwa b. al-Zubayr, <Ubayd Allah b. 'Abd 
Allah b. "Utba. He, al-Zuhri, said that some of these sources had given more 
information than others, and that he had consolidated all into the account 
that follows." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "(Also) Yahya b. c Abbad b. c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr 
related to me the following, from his father, from 'A'isha, quoting c Abd Allah 
b. Abu Bakr from c Amra, daughter of c Abd al-Rahman, from c A :i isha who was 
narrating about herself when people spread the calumny about her. Each one of 
these contributed to this account of hers, some giving information not reported 
by others. Each is regarded as a reliable source for information from her, and 
all reported what they had heard her say. 

u< A%ha said, 'When the Messenger of God (SAAS) was about to go on a 
journey he would draw lots among his wives to decide who would accompany 
him. He did so, as usual, for the expedition against Banu al-Mustaliq; my name 
was drawn and so he took me with him. The women on such occasions would eat 
light filling foods rather than meat which would increase their weight. I would 
sit in my homdah while my camel was being saddled. The men responsible for 
mounting it would then grasp the howdah from below it and lift and place it 
upon the camel's back, tying it there with ropes. They would then lead the camel 
away by the head. 

"'When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had completed that journey, he 
directed the party to return home and when close to Medina he made a halt for 
part of the night. A crier then called out to everyone to depart again, and people 
prepared to do so. I went out to relieve myself. I was wearing a necklace of onyx 
beads from Zafar. 55 When I had finished, it slipped from my neck without my 

55. A town in Yemen. 



2 1 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

knowledge. Having returned to my mount, I felt for it around my neck but 
did not find it there. People were beginning to leave, but I returned to where I 
had been to search for the necklace and eventually I found it. The men who had 
now finished saddling my camel came back for me and raised up the howdah, 
thinking I was inside as usual, and fastened it on the camel; they had no doubts 
about my being inside. Then they took the camel by the head and led it away. 

'"When I returned to the campsite, there was absolutely no one there; 
everyone had left. So I wrapped myself in my cloak and lay down; I was sure 
that they would return for me when they missed me. 

'"I swear, I was lying there when Safwan b. al-Mu'attal al-Sulaml came by. 
He had for some reason of his own been lagging behind the other warriors and 
had not spent the night with the others. When he saw my form he approached 
and stood above me; he had seen me before the veil was required for us. When 
he saw me, he exclaimed, "To God we belong, and to Him we return! Isn't it 
the zaHna x of the Messenger of God (SAAS)?" I was all wrapped up in my cloak. 
He then asked, "What made you stay behind, yarhamuki Altah\ 'May God have 
mercy on you!'" I did not speak to him. He then brought up the camel and 
said, "You ride." He kept away from me. 

"'So I mounted and he led the camel away by the head, moving quickly 
to catch up with the rest. I swear by God, we neither caught them up nor did 
they miss me before morning. By the time the force had halted and made secure, 
the man appeared leading me. And so those who spread the calumny began 
talking and the men were greatly purturbed. However, I swear I knew nothing 
of this. 

"'We then went on into Medina. There I soon fell seriously sick and heard 
nothing of what was going on. All the talk soon reached the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and my parents, but they told me absolutely nothing of this. All I noticed 
was that the Messenger of God (SAAS) was not as kind as usual towards 
me; whenever I had been sick he had been very kind and comforting to me, but 
not on this occasion. I pretended not to notice. When he came in to see me, my 
mother being present nursing me, he would just say, formally, "Kay fa fikumV 
("How are you?"). He would add nothing more. 

"'Eventually this coldness of his bothered me and so I asked him, "Messenger 
of God, if you will allow it, I'd like to go and stay with my mother to have her 
care for me." "No problem," he replied. And so I moved in with my mother. I 
still had no knowledge what was going on until I recovered from my illness 
some three weeks later. 

"'We were an Arab people and did not have in our homes those toilets that 
foreigners use; we find them disgusting. We would go out and use the open areas 
of Medina. Each night the women would go outside to relieve themselves. I went 
out to do so one night accompanied by Umm Mistah, daughter of Abu Ruhm 

56. A term denoting a woman borne in a howdah. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 219 

b. al-Muttalib. She was walking with me when she tripped over her gown and 
swore ta l is Mistah\ "perish that Mistah!" Mistah was her son's nickname, his real 
name being <Awf. I commented, "That's a terrible thing to say about a muhajiri, 
and a man who fought at Badr!" "Has the news not reached you, daughter of 
Abu Bakr?" she asked me. "What news?" I asked. She then told me what those 
spreading the calumny were saying. I exclaimed, "This is really so?" "Yes", she 
said, "it really is so." 

"'I swear, I was so upset I could not do my business and went home. I wept 
so much I thought my crying would burst my liver! I told my mother, "May 
God forgive you for not telling me anything about what people have been saying 
about me!" She replied, "Don't take it too seriously, daughter; rarely does a 
beautiful woman with a husband who loves her not have her co-wives, and 
others too, speak badly about her." 

"'The Messenger of God (SAAS) had stood and addressed people on this 
subject, but I knew nothing of that. He had praised and thanked God, then said, 
"Why is it that people are giving me concern about my family and speaking 
untruths against them? I swear by God, I know nothing but good of them! 
And they are also saying the same against a man of whom I have never known 
anything but good. He has never entered any of my dwellings without me being 
in his company." 

"'The greatest blame for this lay with <Abd Allah b. Ubayy b. Salul, some 
of the Khazraj and Mistah, and Hamiia, daughter of Jahsh. Hamna spoke thus 
because she was the sister of Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, who also lived with 
the Messenger of God (SAAS). And Zaynab was the only one of his wives who 
would rival my status with him. Zaynab herself was given God's protection 
through her religion, for she spoke only good of me. Hamna spread her rumours 
about me to do harm for her sister's sake, and I suffered for that. 

'"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) made this address, Usayd b. Hudayr 
stated, "Messenger of God, if they were from al-Aws, we would deal with them 
for you; if from our Khazraj brethren, then give us your order and I swear by 
God, they deserve to have their heads cut off!" 

"'Then Sa^ b. Ubada arose; he had previously been considered a fine man. 
He said, "You lie, I swear by God's life! You'd certainly not cut off their heads! 
And you only made that statement because you knew that they were of Khazraj; 
if they had been from your tribe, you'd never have said that!" 

"'Usayd b. Hudayr then responded with, "It's you who lie, I swear by God's 
life! You're a hypocrite arguing on behalf of hypocrites!" 

"'People became so angry that there was almost fighting between these two 
tribes of Aws and Khazraj. 

"'Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) stood down and came in to see me. 
He called for c Ali b. Abu Talib and Usama b. Zayd and consulted with them. 
Usama spoke well of me and then said, "Messenger of God, this is about 
your family about whom we know nothing but good. It's all foolish lies." c All 



220 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

said, "Messenger of God, there are plenty of women; you can exchange them. 
Ask the slave girl; she will speak the truth to you." 

"'So the Messenger of God (SAAS) called for Burayra to ask her. c Ali went 
up to her and struck her violently, saying, "Speak the truth to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS)!" Burayra replied, "I swear by God, I know nothing but good! 
I never found fault with ^A'isha at all, except that, when I knead dough and ask 
her to watch over it she may fall asleep, and the pet lamb comes and eats it!" ' 

" c A'isha continued, 'Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) came in to me; I 
had with me both my parents and an ansari woman. I was weeping, and so was 
she. He sat down, gave praise and thanks to God, and said, " c A 5 isha, you have 
been informed what people have been saying about you. Fear God. If you have 
indeed done wrong, as they say, then repent to God. God accepts repentance 
from his servants." As soon as he said this my tears dried up so that I could 
feel nothing of them. I waited for my parents to respond on my behalf to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), but they did not speak. 

"'I swear to God, I thought myself too humble and unimportant for God 
to send down a verse of the Qur > an about me, one that would be recited and 
used for the prayer. But I had hoped that the Prophet (SAAS) would have some 
vision in his sleep by which God would prove my veracity from His knowledge 
of my innocence and would give some information. But as for a verse of the 
Qur>an being revealed about me, I swear I thought myself too insignificant for 
that. When I saw that my parents were not going to respond on my behalf, I 
asked them, "Will you not reply to the Messenger of God?" They replied, "By 
God, we don't know what to reply." 

'"I swear, I don't know any household that ever suffered so much as did that 
of Abu Bakr through those days. When they were unable to respond for me, I 
burst out crying again. Then I said, "By God, I'll never repent to God for what 
you refer to. I swear, I well know that if I were to affirm what people say while 
God knew me to be innocent of it, I would be affirming what had not happened. 
And if I were to deny what they say, you would not believe me!" I then tried to 
remember the name of Jacob, but I could not remember it, so I said, "But I will 
speak as did the father of Yusuf, 'Patience is fine, and God's help is to be sought 
against what you describe'" (surat Yusuf, XII, v. 18). 

"'I swear, the Messenger of God (SAAS) had not left his seat before God 
sent down upon him what he used to send; he was wrapped up in his cloak and 
a pillow of leather was placed beneath his head. As for myself, when I witnessed 
this, I swear I felt no alarm or concern. I knew that I was innocent and that God 
would not harm me. However, I swear by Him who bears c A'isha's soul in His 
hands, that as soon as the Messenger of God (SAAS) recovered, I thought my 
parents would expire for fear that confirmation of what people had been saying 
would come from God. 

"'Having recovered, the Messenger of God (SAAS) sat up, his face streamed 
with droplets like a winter's day. He began wiping the sweat from his face and 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 221 

saying, "Rejoice, c A%ha! God, Almighty and Glorious is He, has sent down 
(confirmation of) your innocence!*' "Praise be to God!" I exclaimed. 

"'He then went out to the people, addressed them and recited to them what 
God, the Almighty and Glorious, had revealed from the Qui°an on the subject. 
He then gave orders about Mistah b. Uthatha, Hassan b. Thabit and Hamna, 
daughter of Jahsh - these having been the most outspoken in their calumny 
- and they received the flogging prescribed by law.' " 

This hadith is cited in both sahih collections from al-Zuhrl. Its text has many 
virtues. It refers to the punishment for false accusation of fornication having 
been applied to Hassan and those with him. Abu Da'ud related it in his Sunan. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "A Muslim spoke the following verses on the flogging of 
Hassan and his associates, 

'Hassan, along with Hamna and Mistah, tasted what they 
deserved for speaking a foul calumny. 

They engaged in slanders against the wife of their 
Prophet, incurred the wrath of Him on the noble throne, 
and were cast down. 

They harmed the Messenger of God through her and were 
exposed to lasting and public disgrace and censure. 

Whips lashed them with the force of sudden rain showers 
from storm clouds.'" 

Ibn Ishaq related that Hassan b. Thabit spoke verses in which he criticized 
Safwan b. al-Mu'attal and a group of Quraysh who fought at the well, associates 
of Jahjah, as mentioned above. These verses commence, 

"These strangers have become powerful and numerous and 
Ibn al-Furay^a" has become top man in the land! 

A man's mother is as bereaved, or it is as if he is in 
a lion's claws, if you fight him; 

For the man I come upon and kill, I'll take no blood-wit, 
nor compensation. 

The sea, riding high when the wind blows north and it 
casts foam on the shore, is not 

More violent than me when you see me strike like a 
sudden hail-cloud. 

As for Quraysh, I will not make peace with them until 
they leave error for the right 

And abandon al-Lat and al-IJzzS and all of them bow 
down before the One and Everlasting 

And bear witness that what the Messenger of God said to 
them is true, and they are faithful to God's truth and 
to the pacts made." 

57. "Ibn al-FurayV is a reference to Hassan himself. 



222 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Safwan b. al-Mu'attal confronted him and struck him with his sword, saying, 

"Receive from me my sword's blade, for I'm a man who 
speaks no poetry when attacked!" 

He (Ibn Ishaq) related that Thabit b. Qays b. Shammas seized and bound Safwan 
after he had attacked Hassan. When c Abd Allah b. Rawaha found him thus, he 
asked, "What's all this?" Thabit replied, "He struck Hassan with his sword." 
<Abd Allah then asked, "Does the Messenger of God (SAAS) know anything 
of this?" "No," he replied, and released Safwan. They all then went to see the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), and Ibn al-Mu'attal told him, "Messenger of God, 
he did me harm and ridiculed me, and my anger so overcame me that I struck 
him." The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, "Hassan, would you scorn 
my people once God gave them guidance?" He added, "Be nice about your 
injury." "As ever you say, Messenger of God," he replied. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) compensated him by awarding him BPr Ha castle that Abu Talha 
had given over as alms, and a Coptic slave-girl named Sirln; she bore him his 
son ( Abd al-Rahman, 

c A 5 isha used to say, "Enquiries were made about Ibn al-Mu'attal and he was 
found to be impotent; he did not approach women. Thereafter he was martyred. 
May God be pleased with him." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "After that, Hassan spoke the following verses in apology for 
what he had said about "A^isha, 

'Chaste and sensible, untouched by suspicion, because 
of my error she became food for scandal-mongers. 

A noble woman of Lu'ayy b. Ghalib, people of honour, 
their glory unending. 

What was said of you could never apply to you; they 
were the words of a slanderer. 

If I did speak what you claim, then may my hands never 
raise my whip again! 

How could this be, in light of my friendship and 
support for the illustrious family of the Messenger of 
God. 

Their dignity is such that all others are beneath them, 
falling far short; may their glory last very long.' " 

There should be written down here the verses of surat al-Nur, namely from 
God's words, "Those who related the calumny are a faction among you. Do 
not consider it an evil for you; in fact it is good for you. Let each man of them 
suffer the punishment he has earned" to the words, "Forgiveness and a fine 
reward" {surat al-Nur; XXIV, v. 11-26). Also here should be inserted the 
traditions, chains of transmisssion and other relevant matters that have come 
down from the earliest and later authorities. And success comes through God. 



IMAM ABU AL FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 223 

THE HUDAYBIYYA EXPEDITION. 

This indisputably took place in Dhu al-Qa'da, 6 AH. Those who state this 
include al-Zuhrl, Nafi*, freed-man of Ibn HJmar, Qatada, Musa b. <Uqba and 
Muhammad b. Ishaq b. Yasar, along with others too. This is also what was 
related by Ibn Lahl^, from Abu al-Aswad, from ^Jrwa - namely, that it 
occurred in Dhu al-QaMa of 6 AH. 

Ya'qub b. Sufyan stated, "Ismail b. al-Khalil related to me, from ( Ali b. 
Mushir (who said), 'Hisham b. IJrwa narrated to me, quoting his father as 
having said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) set out for al-Hudaybiyya in 
Ramadan; (the agreement at) al-Hudaybiyya was made in Shawwal.""' 

This is very strange to have come from HJrwa. 

Both al-Bukhari and Muslim relate from Hudba, quoting Hammam, from 
Qatada, that Anas b. Malik narrated to him that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
performed the Htmra four times (sic) in Dhu al-Qa c da, apart from the Htmra 
performed along with his pilgrimage. The Hudaybiyya Htmra took place in Dhu 
al-Qa^a, that of the following year was in Dhu al-Qa^a, that of al-Ji c rana was 
in Dhu al-Qa^a, when he divided up the booty from the Battle of Hunayn, and 
there was the Htmra that took place along with his pilgrimage." 

This is the wording of al-BukharL 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Thereafter the Messenger of God (SAAS) remained in 
Medina for Ramadan and Shawwal; then, in Dhu al-Qa c da, he left to perform 
the Htmra, not to engage in warfare." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He appointed Numayla b. c Abd Allah al~Laythi in 
command of Medina." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "He invited the local Arabs and the bedouin in neigh- 
bouring areas to accompany him, fearing that Quraysh would attack him or block 
his way to the ka l ba. But many of the bedouin refrained from joining him, 

"Eventually the Messenger of God (SAAS) set forth accompanied by men of 
the muhajirin and the ansar and those bedouin who had joined him. He took with 
him the animals for sacrifice and dressed in pilgrim garb so that people would 
feel secure from attack by him and would recognize that he was only leaving to 
visit this House that he wished to venerate. 

Muhammad b. Muslim b. Shihab al-Zuhrl related to me, from <Urwa b. 
al-Zubayr, from al-Miswar b. Makhrama and Marwan b. al-Hakam, as follows, 
"The Messenger of God (SAAS) left in the year of al-Hudaybiyya intending to 
visit the ka^ba and not wanting to engage in battle. With him he took 70 camels 
for sacrifice and was accompanied by 700 men. Each sacrifice was for 10 persons. 
Jabir b. c Abd Allah used to say, so I have been told, 'Those of us present at 
al-Hudaybiyya totalled 1,400.'" 

Al-Zuhrl stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) travelled as far as 'Usfan, 
where he met Bishr b. Sufyan al-Ka'bi, who told him, 'Messenger of God, these 



224 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Quraysh have heard of your travelling and have gone forth accompanied by 
milk-giving camels accompanied by their young. They have dressed in tiger 
skins and encamped at Dhu Tuwan, swearing to God that you will not ever enter 
it (the city) by going past them. And Khalid b. al-Walld is in charge of their 
cavalry and they have advanced to Kura c al-Ghamim.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) responded, 'Woe upon Quraysh! They are 
consumed by the warfare! What harm would it do them to leave my way clear 
to the other Arabs? If they (the Arabs) should defeat me, that would be what 
they themselves wanted. And if God gave me victory over them, they (the Arabs) 
would enter into Islam in droves. Otherwise, they (the Arabs) will fight on for 
as long as they have strength. What is Quraysh thinking of? I swear by God, I'll 
keep on striving to accomplish that for which God sent me my mission until 
He brings it to pass or I myself perish!' 

"He then asked, 'What man will direct us by some path other than the one 
where they are?'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " c Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that a man of Aslam 
replied, 'I will, Messenger of God!' He then led them along a rough, stony trail 
between mountain passes. When they emerged from it, the Muslims, who had 
suffered greatly from this trail, emerged on to easy terrain at the end of the 
valley. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then called out, 'Say: we ask God's 
forgiveness and turn to him in repentance!' They did repeat this and he then 
said, 'I swear by God, that was the hitta 5S put before the Israelites, but they did 
not say it.'" 

Ibn Shihab stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) gave orders to his men as 
follows, saying, 'Keep to the right, passing between the two sides of al-Hamad 
on a road traversing the pass of al-Murar, on to the slope of al-Hudaybiyya, 
below Mecca.'" 

Ibn Shihab went on, "The army did follow that route, and when the Quraysh 
cavalry saw by the dust raised by the army that they had diverted from their 
own path, they raced back to Quraysh. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) went on until having crossed the al-Mirar 
pass, his camel knelt. People then said, 'It's turned refractory!' He replied, 'It 
has not turned refractory; that's not her nature. The One who restrained the 
elephant from Mecca stopped her. Quraysh shall not today call upon me to 
respect any ties of kinship that I will not agree to.'" 

"He then addressed the men as follows, 'Dismount.' They told him, 'Messenger 
of God, there's no well in this wadi where we can make camp.' He then took 
out an arrow from his quiver and gave it to one of his Companions who took it 
down to one of the water-holes there and stuck it in its centre. It then produced 
water and they had their mounts lie down there after they had been watered." 

58. A word implying a plea for forgiveness of sins. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 225 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "A scholar related to me, from some men of Banu Aslam, 
that the man who took the arrow of the Messenger of God (SAAS) down into the 
water-hole was Najiyya b. Jundab, the driver of his sacrificial camels." 

Ibn Ishaq also said, however, "A(nother) scholar maintained that al-Bara 3 
b. 'Azib used to say, 'It is I who went down with the arrow of the Messenger of 
God (SAAS).' God knows best what in fact happened." 

Ibn Ishaq then gave evidence for the first person named by reporting that an 
ansari slave-girl came to the well while Najiyya was down filling a bucket. 

"She spoke the following verses, 

'Hey, you drawing water, my bucket is before you. 
I saw our people praising you 

Wishing you well and congratulating you.' 

The man then responded to her with the following verses, 

'A Yemeni slave-girl has learned that it is I who draw 
the water, and that my name is Najiyya. 

Many a deep, gushing wound I've made, piercing the 
chests of the enemy.'" 



Al-Zuhrt stated in his hadith, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had 
rested, Budayl b. Warqa', along with some men of Khuza'a, came to talk with him 
and to ask him why he had come. He told them that he had not come intending 
to do battle, but to visit the ka l ba and to venerate its sanctity. He then said 
to them much the same as he had to Bishr b. Sufyan. The men then returned to 
Quraysh and told them that they were treating Muhammad too hastily, and that 
he had only come to visit the ka l ba. Quraysh responded by making accusations 
against the men and by calling them cowards, saying, 'Even if he has come not 
wanting to fight, he'll never enter it by compulsion! The Arabs will never say 
that of us!'" 

Al-Zuhrl stated, "Khuza'a, both their Muslims and their polytheists, were 
advisers to the Messenger of God (SAAS), hiding from him nothing that 
happened in Mecca. 

"They then sent to him Mikraz b. Hafs b. al-Akhyaf, a brother of Banu c Amir 
b. Ltfayy. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw him approaching, he 
said, 'This man is untrustworthy!' When Mikraz reached the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), and addressed him, the latter replied to him much as he had to Budayl 
and his companions. Mikraz then returned to Quraysh and reported what the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had told him. They then dispatched Huiays b. 
c Alqama, or Ibn Zabban, who at that time was the leader of the Abyssinian 
fighters, he being a member of Banu al-Harith b. c Abd Manat b. Kinana. When 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw him, he commented, 'This man is from 
people who are devout; drive out the animals for sacrifice in front of him so he 



226 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

will see them.' When he saw them going past from the valley side, wearing their 
neck decorations and having eaten their own hair from having been long confined, 
he went back to Quniysh without actually having gone to the Messenger of God 
(§AAS), since they were so impressed with what he had seen. He reported 
this to them (Quraysh). They told him, 'just sit down! You're only a bedouin, 
without any sense!"' 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "<Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that al-Hulays was 
angry at this and retorted, 'Quraysh, it wasn't for this that we allied with you 
and made a pact with you! Shall someone who has come to venerate God's house 
be barred from it? By Him who holds the soul of al-Hulays, either you allow 
Muhammad to do what he has come for, or I'll take away the Abyssinians to the 
last man of them!' They responded, 'Keep silent and leave us alone until we get 
for ourselves what we want!'" 

Al-Zuhri stated in his hadith, "Then they (decided to send) to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) c Urwa b. Mas c ud al-Thaqafl and he told them, 'Tribe of Quraysh, 
I saw the violence and bad language you directed at those who came back to you 
after you dispatched them to Muhammad. You well know that you are as my 
father and myself the son' (^rwa was in fact the son of Sabl'a, daughter of 
c Abd al-Shams). 'Having heard what has occurred to you, I gathered some of 
my people who obey me and so have come to you to help you myself.' 

"They replied, 'You speak the truth; you have our trust.' 

"So he went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 'Muhammad, so have 
you gathered together a whole mix of people, then brought them to your own 
home to destroy it with them? Quraysh have come forth with their milch-camels, 
accompanied by their young and dressed in tiger skins, having sworn to God 
that you will never enter contrary to their wish. By God, I'll wager these people 
will abandon you tomorrow!' 

"Abu Bakr, the Trusting, God be pleased with him, was behind the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) and commented, 'Go suck al-Lat's tits! Us abandon him, indeed!' 
<Urwa then asked, 'So who is this, Muhammad?' He replied, 'This is Ibn Abti 
Quhafa.' IJmar then said, 'If I wasn't obligated to you, I'd punish you for that. 
But now we are even.' 

" < Urwa then began fondling the beard of the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
while he was speaking to him. Al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, who was standing close by, 
dressed in armour, began tapping at HJrwa's hand as it touched the beard of the 
Messenger of God ($AAS), saying, 'Remove your hand from the face of the 
Messenger of God, or you'll never get it back!' ^rwa commented, 'Damn you, 
how churlish and rude you are!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) smiled at this, so Vrwa asked him, 'Who 
is this, then, Muhammad?' 'This', he replied, 'is your nephew al-Mughlra b. 
Shu^ba!' At this <Urwa commented, 'You wretch, wasn't it only yesterday you 
learned how to wash your own private parts!'" 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 227 

Al-Zuhrl went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) said to c Urwa 
approximately what he had to the others, telling him that he had not come 
seeking battle. 'Urwa then left, having observed how the Companions of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) treated him. When he washed, they rushed to the 
water he had used. If he spat, they hurried to retrieve it, and if a hair fell from 
his head, they would take it. Consequently, when 'Urwa returned to Quraysh, 
he told them, 'Men of Quraysh, I've been to Chosroe in his kingdom, Caesar 
in his and the Negus in his; but I swear, I never saw a king amidst his people 
like Muhammad amidst his Companions. I have seen people who would never 
abandon him for any reason. So draw your own conclusions.'" 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "A scholar related to me that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
called for Khirash b. Umayya al-Khuza c i and sent him to Quraysh in Mecca, 
mounting him on one of his camels called al-Tha'lab, to tell their leaders on his 
behalf why he had come. But they hamstrung the camel of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and wanted to kill him. The Abyssinian troops, however, prevented 
this and they released him, so he made his way back to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS)." 

Ibn Ishaq also stated, "A reliable source related to me, from Ikrima, from Ibn 
£ Abbas, that Quraysh had sent 40 or 50 of their men with orders to encircle 
the camp of the Messenger of God (SAAS), to capture one of his Companions. 
But they were taken prisoner and brought to the Messenger of God (SAAS). He 
forgave them and released them. They had hurled stones and shot arrows at 
the camp of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"He then summoned IJmar b. al-Khattab to send him to Mecca to inform the 
Quraysh leaders for him why he had come. TJmar responded, 'Messenger of 
God, I fear for myself from Quraysh. There is no one in Mecca of Bantl c Adi who 
could protect me. Quraysh are well aware of my enmity towards them and of 
the roughness with which I have treated them. But I will suggest to you a man 
they respect more than myself, ^Uthman b. "Affan.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then summoned < Uthman b. c Affan and did 
send him to Abu Sufyan and the Quraysh leaders to tell them that he had not 
come to wage war, but to visit the ka l ba in veneration of its sanctity. c Uthman set 
out for Mecca, where he was met by Aban b. Sa c ld b. al-'As, either before or after 
he had entered the city. Aban mounted c Uthman before himself and gave him 
protection until he delivered the message of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 
c Uthman went on to meet Abu Sufyan and the other Quraysh leaders. He gave 
them the message entrusted to him by the Messenger of God (SAAS). When 
he had done so, they told 'Ur.hman, 'If what you want is to circumambulate 
the ka c ba, then do so.' He replied, 'I could never circumambulate it before the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) did so.' 

"Quraysh then kept "Uthman as their prisoner. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and the Muslims were informed that "XJthman had been killed. c Abd 
Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, when 



228 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

he was informed that ^Jthman had been killed, 'We'll not leave before engaging 
the enemy in battle!'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then called upon the 
men to pledge allegiance to him. This pledge, the ba-f-at al-radman, the 'willing 
pledge', was made beneath a tree. People would say that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) received a pledge of allegiance unto death. Jabir b. c Abd Allah, 
however, used to say, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) did not have us pledge 
allegiance unto death, but had us swear that we would not flee.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) received their pledge and the only Muslim 
present who abstained from it was al-Jadd b. Qays, brother of Banu Salama. Jabir 
b. c Abd Allah used to say, 'I swear, I can almost see him now, standing glued to 
the side of his camel, trying to hide from everyone.' 

"Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) received the news that the report about 
c Uthman was false." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Waki* recounted, from Isma c ll b. Abu Khalid, from 
al-Shafo, that the first man to make the bay l at al-ridwan to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) was Abu Sinan al-Asadl. 

"And a reliable source related to me a tradition from Ibn Abu Mulayka, from 
Ibn HJmar, that the Messenger of God himself (SAAS) made the pledge for 
^thman, clapping one of his hands to the other." 

This tradition mentioned by Ibn Hisham with this line of authority is weak; 
however, it is confirmed in both sahih collections. 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Al-Zuhri stated, 'Quraysh then sent Suhayl b. c Amr, 
brother of Banu c Amir b. Lu'ayy, to the Messenger of God (SAAS), telling him, 
"Go to Muhammad and make peace with him. The only condition for peace 
with him is that he withdraw from us this year. By God, the Arabs shall never 
say that he entered it by compulsion!"' 

"Suhayl b. c Amr went to the Messenger of God (SAAS), who said, seeing him 
approach, 'The enemy wanted peace when they dispatched this man.' 

"When Suhayl reached the Messenger of God (SAAS) he spoke with him at 
length; they reconciled and made peace. The matter having been concluded, 
with nothing but a document remaining to be drawn up, 'Umar jumped up and 
went over to Abu Bakr. He asked him, 'Abu Bakr, is he not God's messenger?' 
'Indeed yes, 1 he replied. 'And are we not Muslims?' he asked. 'Indeed yes,' 
Abu Bakr replied. 'And are they not polytheists?' 'Indeed yes,' he agreed. 'So 
why should we agree to something that demeans our religion?' "Umar asked. Abu 
Bakr replied, 'Obey whatever he says; for I testify that he is the Messenger of 
God.' c Umar added, 'I too testify that he is the Messenger of God.' 

"He (tJmar) then went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and asked him, 
'Are you not the Messenger of God?' 'Yes, indeed.' 'And are we not Muslims?' 
'Indeed yes.' 'And are they not polytheists?' 'Indeed yes.' 'So why then should we 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 229 

demean our religion?' T, he replied, 'am the servant of God and His messenger. 
I shall not oppose His order arid He will not let me fail.' 

"'TJraar, God be pleased with him, used to say, 'I have gone on fasting, giving 
alms, praying and freeing slaves because of what I did that day and out of fear for 
what I said that day, until I felt that I had made up.'" 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then summoned c Ali b. Abu Talib, God be 
pleased with him and told him, 'Write: "In the name of God the Most Merciful, 
the Most Beneficent".' Suhayl objected, 'I don't know that (phrase).' 'Write 
instead, "In Your name, O God."' And c Ali wrote it. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, 'Write down: "This is the peace 
agreement made by Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and Suhayl b. c Amr."' 
Suhayl then said, 'If I were to testify that you are the Messenger of God, I would 
not oppose you. Write down your name and that of your father.' 

"So the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Write down, "This is the peace 
agreement made by Muhammad, son of c Abd Allah, with Suhayl b. c Amr. They 
have made peace by agreeing to put aside warfare from the people for ten years. 
During this period, people will be safe and leave one another alone. Provided 
that if anyone from Quraysh comes to Muhammad without permission of his 
guardian, then he must send him back to them. If, however, anyone goes to 
Quraysh from Muhammad, they are not to send him back to him. There are to 
be no secret agreements, bad faith or antagonism between us. Anyone wishing 
to enter into a pact or agreement with Muhammad may do so. Anyone wishing 
to enter into an agreement or pact with Quraysh may do so." ' 

"At this Khuza c a promptly announced, 'We have made a pact and agreement 
with Muhammad!' And Banu Bakr responded at once, 'We have made a pact 
and agreement with Quraysh!' 

"The agreement went on, 'You shall retire from us this year and not enter 
Mecca against our will. Next year we will make way for you, and you and your 
people may enter and stay for three nights, each rider bearing his own weapons 
— swords in sheaths, that is, and bringing in no other weapons.' 

"While the Messenger of God (SAAS) was writing the document, up came 
Abu Jandal, Suhayl's son, dragging fetters, having escaped to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS). 

"When those with the Messenger of God (SAAS) had gone forth, they 
had not doubted that there would be victory, because of visions he had seen. 
Witnessing now the peace being made and their withdrawal being arranged and 
what the Messenger of God (SAAS) was agreeing to on his own behalf, they 
were all very disappointed and deathly depressed. 

"When Suhayl saw (his son) Abu Jandal, he got up, went to him and struck 
him in the face, grabbing him by the collar and saying, 'The matter was agreed 
to between us before this fellow came to you!' 'You are right,' he agreed. And so 



230 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Suhayl began dragging his son away to return him to Quraysh custody, while 
Abu Jandal screamed at the top of his voice, 'Muslims, shall I be returned to 
the polytheists who will subvert my faith?' 

"This increased their sense of depression, 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Be patient and control yourself, Abu 
Jandal! God is preparing relief and succour for you and the others with you 
who are powerless. We have made a peace pact with the enemy and we and 
they have sworn to this in God's name; we cannot act falsely with them.' 

"'Umar b. al-Khattab jumped up and walked along beside Abu Jandal, saying, 
'Be patient! They're only polytheists, their blood worth no more than that of 
dogs!' He was keeping the hilt of his sword close to Abu Jandal. 'Umar used 
to say, 'I was hoping he would take the sword and strike his father with it! But 
the man spared his father, and the matter was settled.' 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had finished the document, he called 
upon some of the Muslims and some of the polytheists to witness the peace. 
These men were Abu Bakr, 'the Trusting', "Umar b. al-Khattab, c Abd al-Rahman 
b. <Awf, <Abd Allah b. Suhayl b. <Amr, Sa<d b. Aba Waqqas, Mahmud b. 
Maslama, Mikraz b. Hafs (he having been a polytheist at that time), <All b. Abu 
Talib. It was he, c All, who wrote out the agreement." 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) had set up his tent in unhallowed territory 
and he would say his prayers on sacred ground. When he had concluded the 
peace, he set about sacrificing his animals. He then sat and had his head shaved; 
the man who shaved it that day was Khirash b. Umayya b. al-Fadl al-Khuza c I. 
When the Muslims saw that the Messenger of God (SAAS) had made sacrifice 
and shaved, they hurried to do the same." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, " ( Abd Allah b. Abu Najih related to me, from Mujahid, 
from Ibn 'Abbas, who said, 'Some men shaved their heads at al-Hudaybiyya, while 
others cut their hair short. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, "May 
God have mercy on those who shaved!" They asked, "And on those who cut 
it short, Messenger of God?" "May God have mercy on those who shaved," he 
repeated. "And on those who cut it short, Messenger of God?" they again asked. 
He said, "And on those who cut it short." 

"'They then asked him, "Messenger of God, why did you emphasize God's 
mercy for those who shaved and not for those who cut their hair short?" He 
replied, "They did not doubt.'"" 

c Abd Allah b. Abu Najih stated, "Mujahid related to me, from Ibn c Abbas, 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) sacrificed one camel among the rest that had 
belonged to Abu Jahl and had a silver ring on its head; he did this to anger the 
polytheists." 

This is the text given by Muhammad b. Ishaq; may God be pleased with him 
for this account. In the text of al-Bukhari that will follow there are differences 
in some places with this text, as you will see, if God so wills it and in Him is all 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA C IL IBN KATHIR 231 

trust. We will give it complete, making reference to traditions considered both 
authentic and good for the benefit in them. If God Almighty wills it; our reliance 
is upon Him, for He is the one from whom to seek help. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Khalid b. Makhlid related to us, quoting Sulayman b. Bilal, 
who quoted Salih b. Kaysan, from c Ubayd Allah b. c Abd Allah, from Zayd b. 
Khalid, who said, 'We went forth with the Messenger of God (SAAS) the year 
of al-Hudaybiyya, and at night it rained hard. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
prayed the al-subh prayer with us. Later he turned to us and said, "Do you 
know what your Lord said?" We replied, "God and His messenger know best!" 
He said, "God Almighty said, 'Of my servants, some have awakened to belief 
in me, others to disbelief. Those who said, "Our rain comes by God's mercy 
and bounty" are believers in me and disbelievers in the stars. Those who said, 
"Our rain comes by this or that star" is a believer in the stars and a disbeliever 
in me. 

Al-Bukhari related this in several places in his sahih collection. Muslim 
gave the tradition in various lines back to al-Zuhri. From al-Zuhri the line of 
transmission went back to 'Ubayd Allah b. c Abd Allah from Abu Hurayra. 

Al-Bukhari also stated, "TJbayd Allah b. Musa related to us, from Israel, 
from Abu Ishaq, from al-Bara', who said, 'You use the word al-fath, "the 
victory", to apply to thefath of Mecca. That was certainly a victory. We consider 
al-fath (also) to have been the bay l at al-ridwan, the "willing pledge", that 
occurred at al-Hudaybiyya. There were 1,400 of us with the Prophet (SAAS). At 
al-Hudaybiyya there is a well; we went down to it and drained it to the last drop. 
When the Prophet (SAAS) heard of this, he came there and sat on its edge and 
called for a vessel of water, with which he performed the ablution. Then he 
rinsed out his mouth, prayed, and poured it in the well. We then went a little way 
off, and later it produced for us (the water that) we and our mounts needed."' 

Ibn Ishaq stated, regarding the words of God Almighty, "but He made 
apart from that a near victory" (surat al-Fath; XL VIII, v.27), (referring to) "the 
Hudaybiyya peace". " Al-Zuhri stated, 'No victory occurred previously in Islam 
than was greater than it. (Previously) wherever men had met, there had been 
fighting; when the truce was made, warfare came to an end and all made peace 
with one another. When they met they would negotiate with one another when 
they talked. And no one of any intelligence had Islam explained to him without 
accepting it. In those two years the same number of men entered as before, or 
even more.'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The proof of what al-Zuhri said is in the fact that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth to al-Hudaybiyya with 1,400 men, as Jabir 
states, and then two years later attended the 'conquest of Mecca' with 10,000." 

Al-Bukhari stated that Yusuf b. ^Isa related to him, quoting Ibn Fudayl, 
quoting Husayn from Salim, from Jabir, who said, "At al-Hudaybiyya the men 
were thirsty while the Messenger of God (SAAS) had before him a waterskin 



232 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

he would use for ablutions. Eventually the men went over to him and he asked 
what they wanted. They told him that they had no water for ablutions or for 
drinking and that all that remained was in his waterskin. The Prophet (SAAS) 
then placed his hand in the waterskin and the water began spurting out from 
between his fingers as if it were a spring." Jabir continued, "So we drank and 
performed the ablutions." We asked Jabir, "How many were you there that 
day?" He replied, "Even if we had been 100,000, there would have been enough 
for us. We were 1,500 men." 

Al-Bukhari also related this kadith, as did Muslim, from different lines of 
transmission, from Husayn, from Salim b. Abu al-JaM, from Jabir. 

Al-Bukhari stated that it was related to him by al-Salt b. Muhammad, 
quoting Yazid b. Zuray<, from Sa c id, from Qatada {who said), "I said to Sa c id b. 
al-Musayyab, 'I have heard that Jabir b. c Abd Allah used to say that they were 
1,400 strong.' Sa c id replied, 'Jabir told me that they were 1,500 in number who 
made the pledge to the Messenger of God (SAAS) at al-Hudaybiyya.'" 

Abu Da^ud traced this tradition back with a line including Qurra, from Qatada. 
Al-Bukhari is alone in thus giving this hadith. 

Thereafter al-Bukhari stated that c All b. c Abd Allah related to him, quoting 
Sufyan, that c Amr said, "I heard Jabir say, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) said 
to us at al-Hudaybiyya, "You are the best people on earth!" We were 1,400; and 
were I able today to see, I would show you the place where the tree stood.'" 

Al-fiukhari also related this tradition, as did Muslim, from several lines of 
transmission, from Sufyan b. TJyayna. Al-Layth b. Sa c d related it similarly, 
from Abu al-Zubayr, from Jabir, who said, "A slave belonging to Hatib came to 
make a complaint about him. He said, 'Messenger of God, Hatib will surely 
enter hell-fire!' The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 'You have lied; he will 
not enter hell; he was present at Badr and al-Hudaybiyya.'" 

Muslim related this. 

Muslim also gave, from several lines of transmission, the following from Ibn 
Jurayj, "Abu al-Zubayr narrated to me that he heard Jabir say, 'Umm Maysar 
told me that she heard the Messenger of God (SAAS) say, when he was with 
Hafsa, "None, if God wills it, will enter hell of those who made the pledge 
beneath the tree." Hafsa commented, "On the contrary, Messenger of God." He 
berated her and she then quoted, "All of you are headed there" {surat Mary am; 
XIX, v.71). The Messenger of God (SAAS) then responded, "Almighty God 
stated, '. . . and then We will deliver those who are pious, and We will leave there 
the evil-doers, prostrate""" {surat Mary am; XIX, v.72). 

Al-Bukhari stated that ^Ubayd Allah b. Mu^dh said, "My father related to 
us, quoting Shu^a, from < Amr b. Murra, who stated, ' c Abd Allah b. Abu Awfa 
said, "The men at the tree were 1,300 in number; Aslam were one-eighth of the 
muhajirin (there)." ' " 

Muhammad b. Bashar included in the chain of authorities Abu Da'ud and 
Shu<ba. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 233 

Al-Bukhan narrated it with c Abd Allah as one of the authorities in the 
chain. Muslim narrated it from ^bayd Allah b. Mu c adh, from his father, from 
Shu'ba. Also from Muhammad b. al-Muthanna, from Abu Da'ud, from Ishaq b. 
Ibrahim, from al-Nadr b. Shumayl, both of them quoting Shu^a, 

Thereafter, al-Bukharl stated that 'All b. c Abd Allah related to him, quoting 
Sufyan, from al-Zuhrl, from ^rwa, from Marwan and al-Miswar b. Makhrama, 
who both said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth in the year of 
al-Hudaybiyya with some hundreds of his Companions. While he was at Dhu 
al-Hulayfa, he put ceremonial necklaces on the sacrificial camels, marked them 
and entered into the ihram, the state of ritual consecration." 

Al-Bukhan is alone in giving this tradition. This text will follow complete 
hereafter. 

What is implied here is that all these accounts contradict what Ibn Ishaq 
maintained, namely that those at al-Hudaybiyya were 700 in number. 

He only said this - though God knows best - because he was using his 
independent scholastic judgement; since there were 70 sacrificial camels, each 
one of which would have been for ten men, then those making the sacrifice 
would have been 700 in number. 

But there is no need for all of them to have been participating in the offering, 
nor that all of them were making the pilgrimage. It is established that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) sent out one group of them, who included Abu 
Qatada. And Abu Qatada did not adopt the ihram state until after he had killed 
that wild donkey which he and his companions ate. They carried some of it to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) while on the journey, and he asked (those in 
a state of ihram), "Did any of you order that he bring the meat or make any 
gesture towards it?" "No," they said. "Then eat what remains of the donkey," 
he told them. 

Al-Bukhari had stated, "Shu^a b. al-Rabl c related to us, quoting c Ali b. 
al-Mubarak, from Yahya, from c Abd Allah b. Abu Qatada, that his father (Abu 
Qatada) related to him, as follows, 'We set off with the Prophet (SAAS), the year 
of al-Hudaybiyya, and my companions went in the ihram state, but I did not.'" 

Al-Bukhan stated that Muhammad b. Rafi c related to him, quoting Shababa 
b. Suwar al-Fazari, quoting Shu'ba, from Qatada, from Sa'id b. al-Musayyab, 
from his father, who said, "I saw the tree; then I came to it later but did not 
recognize it." 

(Al-Bukhan went on) "Musa related to us, quoting Abu <Awana, quoting 
Tariq, from Sa<ld b. al-Musayyab, from his father, that he was among those who 
made the pledge beneath the tree. So we returned to it the following year; but it 
was obscure to us." 

Al-Bukhari also stated that Mahmud related to him, quoting 'Ubayd Allah, 
from Isra'il, from Tariq b. c Abd al-Rahman, who said, "I set off as a pilgrim, and 



234 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

passed by some people praying. 'What masjid, place for prayer, is this then?' 
They replied, 'This is the tree where the Messenger of God (SAAS) called 
for the bay c at al-ridwan, the "willing pledge".' I then went over to Sa c ld b. 
al-Musayyab and related this to him. Sa c ld then said, 'My father related to 
me that he was among those who made the pledge to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) beneath the tree. He told me, "The following year we had forgotten it 
and could not find it."' 

"Sa c id then said, 'The Companions of Muhammad did not know it but you 
people do! You know best, then!'" 

Al-Bukhari related this tradition, as did al-Thawrl, Abu c Awana and Shababa, 
from Tariq. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Sa c ld related to him, quoting his brother, from 
Sulayman, from c Amr b. Yahya, from c Abbad b. Tamlm, who said, "At the battle 
of al-Harra, people were making a pledge to c Abd Allah b. Hanzala. Ibn Zayd 
asked, 'What is the pledge the people are making to Ibn Hanzala?' He was told, 
'To the death'. He then said, 'I will not pledge that to anyone following the 
Messenger of God (SAAS).' He had been present at al-Hudaybiyya with him." 

Al-Bukhari also related this, as did Muslim, from various lines, from c Amr 
b. Yahya. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Qutayba b. Sa c id related to him, quoting Hatim, from 
Yazld b. Abu TJbayd (who said), "I said to Salama b. al-Akwa 1 , 'What pledge 
was it you made to the Messenger of God (SAAS) at al-Hudaybiyya?' 'To the 
death,' he replied." 

Muslim related this from a hadith of Yazld b. Abu 'Ubayd. 

In the sahlh collection of Muslim, it states that he sought the pledge three 
times — from a first group, from a middle group and from a final group. 

In the sahlh there is a hadith from Ma'qil b. Yasar that he held the tree 
branches away from the face of the Messenger of God (SAAS) while he was 
receiving their pledge. (It also states there) that the first man to give his pledge 
that day was Abu Sinan, he being Wahb b. Mihsan, brother of c Ukasha b. 
Mihsan. The name of Sinan b. Abu Sinan is also given, 

Al-Bukhari stated that it was related to him by Shuja* b. al-Walld that 
he heard al-Nadr b. Muhammad (say), that Sakhr b. al-Rabi c quoted Nafi' as 
having said, 'People relate that "Ulnar's son accepted Islam before 'Umar, yet it 
was not so. The day of al-Hudaybiyya c Umar sent (his son) c Abd Allah to bring 
him a mare of his that was with one of the ansar; this was so that he could ride it 
to battle. At the time, the Messenger of God (SAAS) was receiving the pledge 
beneath the tree, though "Umar did not know this. c Abd Allah pledged his 
allegiance, then left. c Umar then went with him and made his pledge to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). This is why people say that Omar's son accepted 
Islam before HUmar did." 

"Hisham b. c Ammar stated, 'Al-Walid b. Muslim related to us, quoting ^mar 
b. Muhammad al- c Umari, (who said), "Nafi c narrated to me, from Ibn c Umar, 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 235 

that the people who were with the Prophet (SAAS) at al-Hudaybiyya were 
dispersed in the shade of the tree. Then they all began looking directly at the 
Prophet (SAAS). He ( ( Umar) then said (to his son), ' c Abd Allah, go and find 
out why everyone is looking directly at the Messenger of God (SAAS).' He 
(<Abd Allah) found them to be making their pledge, and he did so himself. He 
then returned to ^Umar, who went and pledged allegiance.'"" Al-Bukhari is 
alone in giving this hadtth from both these lines of authorities. 



An Account of the texts given by al-Bukhari relating 
to the pilgrimage of al-Hudaybiyya. 

Al-Bukhari stated in his military chronicle as follows, '"Abd Allah b. Muhammad 
related to us, quoting Sufyan, who said, 'I heard al-Zuhri when he related this 
hadtth. I learned part of it by heart and Ma c mar corroborated me. (The hadtth 
quotes) from ^rwa b. al-Zubayr, from al-Miswar b. Makhrama and Marwan b. 
al-Hakam, each of these adding to the account of the other. They both stated, 
"The Prophet (SAAS) went forth to al-Hudaybiyya accompanied by some 1,000 
men. When he arrived at Dhu al-Hulayfa, he put neck decorations and badges 
on the sacrificial camels, and went out from there as a pilgrim, sending on ahead 
a scout of his from the Khuza'a. 

"'"The Prophet (SAAS) travelled on till he arrived at the stream at al-Ashtat, 
where his scout came to him and said, 'Quraysh have gathered a force against 
you. They have assembled the Abyssinian warriors to fight you. They intend to 
do battle with you and to keep you away from the kcfiba? He then asked, 'Men, 
give me your advice. Do you think that I should give way for the children and 
families of those who wish to keep us from the ka c ba? (Better) if they do come 
and join us, (so) God will have cut out one eye of the polytheists; alternatively, we 
will leave them defeated.' Abu Bakr replied, 'Messenger of God, you have come 
forth to visit the ka l ba, not intending to do battle or to make war against anyone. 
Proceed to it, and we will fight anyone who blocks our way,' He responded, 
'Then proceed onwards, in God's name.' " ' " 

This is how al-Bukhari related this tradition here, stopping at this point and 
adding nothing more. 

In his work, Kitab al-Shahadat, al-Bukhari stated, that it was related to 
him by c Abd Allah b. Muhammad, quoting c Abd al-Razzaq, quoting Ma c mar, 
quoting al-Zuhri, quoting ^rwa b. al-Zubayr, from al-Miswar b. Makhrama 
and Marwan b. al-Hakam, each of them corroborating the other's account. They 
both stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) left at the time of al-Hudaybiyya 
and proceeded on for part of the way. At that point the Prophet (SAAS) said, 
'Khalid b. al-Walid is at al-Ghamlm with cavalry as Quraysh's vanguard. Take 
a route to the right.' And, by God, Khalid had no awareness of them until he saw 
their army's dust. He then raced off to inform Quraysh. 



236 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"The Prophet (SAAS) proceeded on until he reached the pass from which 
the way led down to them. There his camel kneeled down; people said, ''Hal! 
Hal! Get up! Get up!' but it persisted (in kneeling). People said, 'Al-Qaswa' 
(the camel's name) has become refractory!' The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
responded to them, 'No, al-Qaswa 5 has not; that's not in her nature. She has been 
held back by Him who held back the elephant.' He then said, 'By Him who holds 
my soul in His hand, I'll accept any request that they make of me by which the 
sanctuaries of God are dignified!' He then scolded his camel and it got up. 

"He then veered away from Quraysh and halted' beyond al-Hudaybiyya at a 
well there that had little water. His men kept taking the water from it, little by 
little, and soon they had bailed it out completely. Complaint of thirst was made 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he drew an arrow from his quiver and told 
them to put it into the water-hole. And, by God, it continued providing them 
plenty of water until they left. 

"While this was going on, Budayl b. Warqa 5 al-Khuza £ i arrived, accompanied 
by others of Khuza^a. They were the trusted confidants of the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) From the people of Tihama. Budayl said, 'I have just left Ka'b b. Lu>ayy 
and c Amir b. Lu'ayy who have encamped at the Hudaybiyya wells; they have 
with them their milch-camels with their young. They are going to do battle with 
you and prevent you from reaching the ka'ba.' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) responded, 'We have not come to fight anyone. We 
have come to make a pilgrimage. Quraysh have been consumed by the warfare! 
It has ruined them. If they want, I will give them respite for a period. They 
should then give me access to the people. If it (Islam) prevails, and they wish to 
join into what the people have entered, they could do so. Otherwise, they will 
have gained in numbers. If they refuse this, then I swear by Him who holds 
my soul in His hand, I will battle them in this cause of mine until I perish! Let 
God's will be done!' 

"Budayl said, 'I will inform them what you say.' He then went off to Quraysh 
and told them, 'We come to you from that man. We have heard him make 
certain statements which, if you wish, we will relate to you.' Fools among them 
said, 'We have no need for you to tell us anything of him.' Those of them who 
were sensible, said, 'Tell us what you heard him say.' He responded by relating 
to them what the Messenger of God (SAAS) had said. 

"TJrwa b. Mas c ud then arose and said, 'People, am I not as your father?' 'Yes, 
you are,' they told him. 'And are you not as my children?' 'Yes, indeed,' they 
replied. 'Do you mistrust me?' he then asked. 'No,' they answered. 'Do you not 
know that I called to the people of < Ukaz to come forth to war alongside me 
and that when they put me off I came to you with my family and my son, and all 
who obeyed me?' 'Yes indeed,' they replied. 'This man', he went on, 'has made 
an appropriate offer. Accept it, and let me go to see him.' 'Go to him,' they 
told him. 



IMAM ABU AL FIDA 1 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 237 

"When he went to him, he began talking to the Prophet (SAAS), who said 
to him approximately what he had told Budayl. 'Urwa at that point said, 'Hey 
now, Muhammad, haven't you considered that you are ruining your people? 
Have you ever heard of any Arab who ruined his people before yourself? And 
if that doesn't happen, I swear I don't see faces here; I just see a hodge-podge 
of people who are quite capable of fleeing and abandoning you.' 

"Abu Bakr said to him, 'Go suck al-Lat's tits! Would we flee and abandon 
him!' 

«qj rwa asked, 'Who is that?' 'Abu Bakr,' people told him. HJrwa commented, 
'Well, by Him who has my soul in His hand, if I weren't obligated to you, Fd 
give you a reply all right!' 

"He then went on speaking to the Prophet (SAAS) and while doing so would 
take hold of the latter's beard. Al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, who was standing at the 
head of the Messenger of God (SAAS), wearing a sword and a helmet, would 
tap his hand with the hilt of his sword each time 'Urwa stretched it out to touch 
the beard of the Messenger of God (SAAS) saying, 'Keep your hands off the 
beard of the Messenger of God!' 'Urwa raised his head and asked, 'And who 
is that?' 'That is al-Mughira b. Shu'ba,' they replied. IJrwa then said, 'You 
wretch! I couldn't match your treachery!' 

"Before Islam, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba had stayed with a family and had 
murdered them and taken their property. Thereafter, he came and accepted 
Islam, whereupon the Messenger of God (SAAS) told him, 'As for Islam, do 
accept it. As for money, I've nothing to do with that.' 

"Then < Urwa began watching closely the Companions of the Messenger of 
God (SAAS). He said (later), 'I swear that if the Messenger of God (§AAS) 
spat, the phlegm would fall into the hand of one of them and that person would 
rub it on to his face or skin. If he gave them a command, they would carry it out 
immediately. If he performed the ablutions, they would almost kill one another 
trying to get to the water he had used. If he spoke, they lowered their voices. And 
they never looked directly at him, out of their reverence for him.' 

" c Urwa returned to his companions and told them, 'Well, I've gone in to 
kings, had audiences with Caesar, Chosroe and the Negus and I swear by God 
I've never seen the subjects of any king venerate him the way Muhammad's 
people venerate him! I swear, if he spits, the phlegm always falls into the palm 
of one of them and he will then rub it on to his face or skin. If he gives them a 
command, they hurry to carry it out. If he performs the ablutions, they almost 
kill one another for the water he used. If he speaks, they lower their voices in his 
presence. And they never look directly at him, out of their veneration for him. 
He has made you an appropriate offer; accept it.'" 

"A man of Banu Kinana then asked to be allowed to go to see him and Quraysh 
agreed. As he was approaching, the Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 



238 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'This is so-and-so; he is from a tribe who much venerate sacrificial camels. Send 
them out to him.' They were put out for him and people greeted him chanting 
labbayk™ 'at Your service', ('O Lord'). When he saw this, he said, 'All praise be 
to God! It is not right for these people to be kept from the k&ba? When he 
returned to his companions, he told them, 'I have seen the sacrificial camels 
necklaced and decorated with badges, and I don't think they should be kept from 
the ka^ba? 

"One of their men, named Mikraz b. Hafs, then arose, and said, 'Let me 
go to him.' 'Do so,' they told him. When he approached, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) said, 'This is Mikraz; he is an immoral man.' As Mikraz began to speak 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS), Suhayl b. c Amr arrived." 

Ma c mar stated, "Ayyub narrated to me, from c Ikrima, that when Suhayl b. 
c Amr arrived, the Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 'Your problem has 
suhhila, "been eased"!" 

Ma c mar went on, "Al-Zuhrl stated in his hadith, 'Suhayl then came and said, 
"Come on now, write an agreement between us." The Prophet (SAAS) asked 
for a document to be brought and said, "Write down: Bismi AUahi al-rahman 
al-rahim (in the name of God, the most Merciful and Beneficent)". But Suhayl 
objected, "As for that term al-rahman, I swear I don't know what that is. Instead, 
put down Bismik Allahumma (In your name, O God), like you used to write." 
The Muslims insisted, "By God, we'll write it only Bismi AUahi al-rahman 
al-rahimV But the Prophet (SAAS) said, "Write down Bismik Allahumma.'" 

"He then said, 'This is what Muhammad, the Messenger of God, has 
determined.' Suhayl objected, 'By God, if we knew you to be the Messenger of 
God, we'd not have blocked your access to the ka l ba, nor would we have batded 
you. However, write down "Muhammad, son of c Abd Allah." The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) then said, 'By God, I certainly am the Messenger of God, even 
though you call me a liar! Write down "Muhammad, son of c Abd Allah.'"" 

Al-Zuhri stated, "This relates to his having said, 'I'll accept any request they 
make of me by which the sanctuaries of God are dignified.' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) then said, 'on condition that you allow us access to 
the ka c ba so that we may circumambulate it.' 

"Suhayl objected, 'By God, we'll not have the Arabs say that we accepted 
pressure; however, that can happen next year.' 

"So he wrote it. Suhayl then said, 'A condition is that any of our men who 
come over to you, even if in your religion, you will return to us.' 

"The Muslims said, 'Goodness gracious, how could someone be returned 
to the polytheists if he came as a Muslim!' 

"While this discussion was in progress Abu Jandal b. Suhayl b. 'Amr came 
along, dragging his chains, having escaped from below Mecca, and threw himself 

59. A liturgy addressed to God by a pilgrim in the ikram state. 

60. The comment makes a pun on the name Suhayl, from a root meaning to make easy, or 
facilitate. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 239 

down among the Muslims. Suhayl said, 'This fellow, Muhammad, is the first 
whom I charge you to return to me.' The Prophet (SAAS) said, 'But we've not 
completed the agreement yet.' 'In that case,' Suhayl insisted, 'I'll never make 
a pact with you over anything,' The Prophet (SAAS) then said, 'Release him 
to my custody.' 'I'll not release him to you,' Suhayl said. 'I insist that you 
release him!' 'That I'll not do,' he replied. Mikraz then said, 'Very well, we'll 
release him to you.' 

"Abu Jandal then exclaimed, 'Muslims, shall I be returned to the polytheists? 
I have come to you as a Muslim. Can't you see how I've been treated?' He had 
been brutally tortured in God's cause. 

" c Umar, may God be pleased with him, said, 'So I went to the Messenger 
of God, God's peace and blessings be upon him, and asked, "Are you not truly 
the Messenger of God?" "Yes, indeed," he replied. "And are we not in the right 
and our enemy in error?" "Yes, indeed," he agreed. "Why, then, are we so 
demeaning our religion?" I asked. He replied, "I am the Messenger of God, and 
I will not disobey him; He is my helper." 

"'"Well," I asked, "didn't you tell us how we would come to the ka c ba 
and circumambulate it?" "Indeed yes," he replied. "But did I tell you we would 
do that this year?" "No," I replied. "Well," he said, you will go to it and 
circumambulate it.'" 

" c Umar went on, 'I then went down to Abu Bakr and asked, "Abu Bakr, is this 
man not in truth God's prophet?" "Yes, indeed," he replied. "But are we not 
in the right and our enemy in error?" "Yes, indeed," he agreed. "Well", I asked 
him, "then why are we demeaning our religion?" He replied, "Look, man, he is 
indeed the Messenger of God and he will not disobey Him; He is his helper. 
Trust him; he is right." 

""'But', I continued, "didn't he tell us we would go to the ka c ba and 
circumambulate it?" "Yes indeed," he agreed. "But did he say you would get there 
this year?" "No," I said. "You will get there and circumambulate it," he said.'" 

Al-Zuhri stated, " < Umar went on, 'So I therefore did certain things.' 

"He went on, 'And when he had completed the document, the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) told his Companions, 'Make your sacrifices and shave.' 

" 'And, I swear, not a man of them did so until he repeated this three times. 
When none of them arose, he went in to Umm Salama and told her how the 
men were acting. Umm Salama said, "Prophet of God, do you like that? Go on 
out without speaking a word to anyone and sacrifice your camel. Then call for 
your barber and have him shave your head." 

"'He went out and spoke to no one until he had done this. He made his 
sacrifice and called for his barber who shaved his head. When the men saw 
this, they arose and made sacrifice. Then some so hurriedly shaved the heads 
of others that it appeared that they were killing each other in their grief. 

"'Then some believing women went to see him. And so God Almighty 
revealed the words, "O you who believe! If believing women should come to 



240 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

you as emigrants, then test them ..." and so on to the words, "... the marriage 
ties of unbelieving women"' (sural al-Mumtahana; LX, v. 10). 

"That day 'Umar divorced two women who had been his while he was a 
polytheist. Mu J awiya b. Abu Sufyan married one of these, while Safwan b. 
Umayya the other. 

"Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned to Medina. There Abu Basir, 
a Quraysh man, came to him, he being a Muslim. They (Quraysh) sent two 
men to retrieve him, referring to the pact that had been made. He gave Abu Basir 
over to them and they left with him and went to Dhu al-Hukyfa, where they 
halted to eat the dates they had. Abu Basir said to one of the two men, 'By God, 
I can see that that sword of yours is a very fine one.' The other man unsheathed 
it and said, 'Yes, it is; I swear it is fine. And I've put it to the test often.' Abu 
Basir asked, 'Do let me look at it.' He then took it from him and struck him until 
he was dead. The other man fled back to Medina where he ran into a mosque. 
When he saw him, the Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 'That man has 
seen something dreadful.' 

"When the man reached the Prophet (SAAS), the man exclaimed, 'I swear 
by God, my companion has been killed! And I'm as good as dead!' Then Abu 
Basir arrived and said, 'Prophet of God, God has fulfilled your obligation! You 
returned me to them, and then God saved me from them.' The Prophet (SAAS) 
then commented, 'Woe on his mother! What an inciter to war he would have 
been if he had had supporters!' 

"When Abu Basir heard this, he knew that he would return him to Quraysh, 
and so he left for the coast." 

He went on, "Abu Jandal b. Suhayl b. <Amr escaped from Quraysh and joined 
Abu Basir. Thereafter, every man who left Quraysh to accept Islam went and 
joined Abu Basir. Eventually a group of them were formed. Whenever they heard 
of a Quraysh caravan heading for Syria, they would attack it, killing the men and 
taking the goods. 

"And so Quraysh sent to the Prophet (SAAS) invoking God and family ties 
(and saying) that if he were to send for those men they would be safe. And so the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) did send for them. Thereafter, God Almighty revealed, 
'And His it was who kept their hands away from you and yours away from them 
in the valley of Mecca, after He had given you control over them ...' as far as the 
words, '... their zeal, the zeal of al-jahiliyya''''' (sural al-Fath; XLVIII v. 24). 

Their "zeal" referred to is the fact that they did not agree that he was the 
Prophet of God, and that they would not accept the words, "in the name of God, 
the most Merciful and Compassionate". And the fact that they denied them 
access to the kcfiba. 

This text has additions and advantages that are absent from the narration of 
Ibn Ishaq from al-Zuhii. His account quoted al-Zuhrl from a group of others, 
including Sufyan b. c Uyayna, Ma c mar and Muhammad b. Ishaq. All of these 
quoted al-Zuhri, from ^Urwa, from Marwan and Miswar, in relating the narrative. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 24 1 

Al-Bukhari gave it at the beginning of his work, Kitab al-Shurut from Yahya 
b. Bukayr, from al-Layth b. Sa c d, from 'Uqayl, from al-Zuhri, from 'Urwa, from 
Marwan b. al-Hakam and al-Miswar b. Makhrama, from Companions of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), in relating the narrative. 

This is the best chain of authority. For Marwan and al-Miswar were young 
at the time of al-Hudaybiyya. It is obvious that they acquired it from the 
Companions, may God be pleased with them, in relating the narrative. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "Al-Hasan b. Ishaq related to us, quoting Muhammad b. 
Sabiq, quoting Malik b. Mighwal, who said, 'I heard Abu Husayn state, "Abu 
Wa'il said, 'When Suhayl b. Hunayf arrived from Sifftn, we went to him asking 
for news. He replied, "Be sceptical. At the battle of Abu Jandal, if I could have 
reversed the orders of the Messenger of God (SAAS) I would have done so. And 
God and His messenger know best. And we never took down our swords from 
our shoulders for any problem that troubled us without them providing us some 
solution we could appreciate. Before this affair, that is. Now, we no sooner deal 
with one contender 61 than another arises before us that we don't know how to 
deal with."""" 

Al-Bukhari also stated that it was related to him by <Abd Allah b. Yusuf, 
quoting Malik, from Zayd b. Aslam, from his father, that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was travelling one night in the company of MJmar b. ai-Khattab. 'Umar 
asked him a question on some matter, but the Messenger of God (SAAS) made 
him no reply. Vmar asked him again and yet again, receiving no reply from 
him. Vmar b. al-Khattab then exclaimed, "<Umar, your mother is as good as 
bereaved of you! You persisted three times in asking the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), and despite that he would not respond to you." 

'Umar related, "So I moved my mount away and advanced to the front of 
the Muslims, fearing that there was going to be a revelation about me. But 
immediately I heard someone shouting at me. I responded, 'I was afraid there 
was about to be a revelation about me.' 

"Then I went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and greeted him. He 
said, 'Tonight a sura has been revealed to me that is more pleasing to me than 
anything over which the sun rises.' He then recited, 'We have made for you 
a clear victory!'" (surat al~Fath\ XL VIII, v.l). 

I note that I wrote about the surat al-Fath fully and sufficiently in my Tafsir 
(Exegesis), to God being due all praise and credit. Those wishing to insert that 
material here should do so. 

Chapter: On the Expedition and missions that took place in 6 AH. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaqi, quoting al-Waqidi, gives a summary of these. 

61. The footnote of the Arabic printed text reminds us that the statement comes in the context 
of the conflict between 'All and Mu'awiya over succession to the Caliphate. 



242 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

In Rabi c al-Awwal (or Rabl c al-Akhir) of that year, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) sent *Ukasha b. Mihsan with a force of 40 men to Gharw Marzuq. They 
fled from him and he encamped at their wells. He sent some men in pursuit of 
them and took 200 of their camels which he led into Medina. 

Also that year was the dispatch of Abu <Ubayda b. al~Jarrah to Dhu al-Qissa, 
also with 40 men. He made for them on foot, reaching them in the morning while 
it was still dark. They fled from him into the mountain heights. He captured 
one of their men and brought him to the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

And there was his dispatch of Muhammad b. Maslaraa with a force of 10 
men. The enemy hid from them until night; all the companions of Muhammad 
b. Maslama were killed and he escaped, wounded. 

That year too there was the mission of Zayd b. Haritha to al-Jamum. A woman 
of Muzayna called Halima was captured and she directed them to one of the 
places where Banu Sallm were. There they captured cattle and sheep and took a 
number of the polytheists prisoner. Among them was the husband of Halima; 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) gave him to her and released them both. 

Also that year was the mission of Zayd b. Haritha, in Jumada al-Uwla, to Banu 
Tha^aba with a company of 15 men. The bedouin fled from him; he captured 
20 of their camels, then returned, having been absent for 4 nights. 

Zayd b. Haritha also left in Jumada al-Uwla that year for al-^s. 

He (al-Waqidl) also said, "That year the property that had been with Abu 
al- c As b. al-Rabl c was taken; he sought refuge with Zaynab, the daughter of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), and she took him in." 

Ibn Ishaq related this man's story, about when the camels that were with him 
were taken, his companions were killed and he fled from them and went to 
Medina. His wife, Zaynab, the daughter of the Messenger of God (SAAS), had 
emigrated after Badr. When he arrived in Medina, he sought refuge with her, 
and she took him in following the al-subh prayer. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
gave him over to her custody and told his men to return the camels taken from 
him. They did return to him everything taken from him, so that he lost nothing. 
When he returned with his property to Mecca and gave over to those he owed 
what was due them from their deposits, he accepted Islam. He then left Mecca 
and returned to Medina. The Messenger of God (SAAS) returned his wife to 
him by the first marriage, not by remarriage or contract, as was related heretofore. 
The period between his accepting Islam and her having emigrated was six years; 
it is also said to have been two years. 

We have explained that there is no discrepancy between the two accounts, and 
that his acceptance of Islam came two years after the time when believing women 
were prohibited to unbelievers. His acceptance of Islam came in 8 AH, in the 
year of the conquest (of Mecca), not as is told above in the account of al-Waqidl 
that it took place in 6 AH. But God knows best. 

Al-Waqidl stated that in that year Dihya b. Khalifa al-Kalbi came back from 
Caesar, who had awarded him money and robes of honour. When he was at 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 243 

al-Husma he was waylaid by some men of Judham. They robbed him and left him 
with nothing. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then sent out Zayd b. Haritha, 
may God be pleased with him, against them, 

Al~Waqidi stated, " c Abd Allah b. Ja c far related to me, from Ya c qub b. IJtba, 
who said, ' c Ali, may God be pleased with him, went forth with 100 men to a 
village of Banu Asad b. Bakr. This was because the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
had learned that a group of their men wanted to extend help to the Jews 
of Khaybar. He approached them at night, keeping hidden by day. He ( c All) 
captured a scout of theirs who confirmed that he had been sent to Khaybar to 
suggest to them that they hand over to them their dates.'" 

Al-Waqidl, may God be pleased with him, said, "In Sha'ban of 6 AH there was 
the expedition of c Abd al-Rahman b. c Awf to Dumat al-Jandal. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) told him, 'If they obey, then marry the- daughter of their king.' 
They did accept Islam and c Abd al-Rahman married their king's daughter, 
Tamadur, daughter of al-Isba c al-Kalblya; she was the mother of Abu Salama b. 
<Abd al-Rahman b. <Awf." 

Al-Waqidi stated, "In Shawwal of 6 AH the expedition of Kurz b. Jabir al-Fihrl 
against the people of "Urayni took place; they had killed the herdsman of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) and had stolen his catde. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) sent Kurz b. Jabir with 20 horsemen to track them down and they 
retrieved them." 

According to texts given by al-Bukhan and Muslim, quoting Sa c ld b. Abu 
^ruba, from Qatada, from Anas b. Malik, what happened was that a group from 
^kl and 'Urayna (from 'Ukl or Urayna, according to one version) went to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). They told him, "Messenger of God, we're really 
herdsmen, not farmers and we find Medina unhealthy." The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) ordered them to leave with a small herd, in the charge of a shepherd, 
and told them to live by drinking the milk and urine of the animals. They left 
and when in the vicinity of al-Harra, they killed the herdsman of the Messenger 
of God (SAAS), drove off the herd and denied Islam after having accepted it 
earlier. The Prophet (SAAS) sent men in pursuit of them and had their hands 
and feet cut off and their eyes gouged out; they were left there at al-Harra in that 
state until they died. 

Qatada stated, "We have heard that thereafter, whenever the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) made an address he would speak in favour of compassion and 
against exemplary punishment." 

This hadith is related by one group of scholars from Qatada, while another 
group relates it from Anas b. Malik. 

In the account of Muslim, from Mu'awiya b. Qurra, from Anas, it is stated 
that a group of Urayna went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and announced 
their acceptance of Islam and their allegiance. Then smallpox broke out in 
Medina, and they told him, "Since this smallpox has broken out, we'd like to go 



244 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

back to the camels." He replied, "Yes- go and be with them." They did then 
leave, but they killed the herdsmen and left with the camels. 

According to that account, he sent some 20 of the ansar in pursuit of them, 
along with an expert tracker. When they were found, their hands and feet were 
severed and their eyes were gouged out. 

In the sahih collection of al-Bukhari, on a line of transmission through Ayyub, 
from Abu Qalaba, from Anas, who is quoted as saying, "A group from TJkal 
arrived and accepted Islam. They loathed Medina and went to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) and told him so. He then said to them, "Then go and join the 
camels; drink their milk and urine." They then left and lived among them for a 
time; but eventually they killed the herdsman and stole the camels. News of 
this reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), and before the sun next arose they 
had been brought to him. He had iron rods brought and these were heated and 
used to cauterize them. He then had their hands and feet cut off and they were 
dumped out in the heat, where they sought water. But they were given none 
until they died, without protection. 

In an account from Anas, he is quoted as saying, "I saw one of them biting the 
ground in his thirst." 

Abu Qalaba stated, "That gang murdered, stole and apostatized after having 
declared their faith. They fought against God and His messenger (SAAS)." 

Al-Bayhaql related, through c Uthman b. Abu Shayba, from c Abd al-Rahman 
b. Sulayman, from Muhammad b. 'Ubayd Allah, from Abu al-Zubayr, from 
Jabir, that when the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent men in pursuit of them, he 
said, "O God, make them lose their way and make it narrower than a camel's 
ankle." He went on, "They did lose their way and were captured and brought 
back. He had their hands and feet severed and their eyes gouged out." 

In the sahih collection of Muslim, it states, "The reason he had their eyes 
gouged was that they had done this to the herdsman." 

Section: Relating to happenings that year, 6 AH. 

During that year the obligation of making the pilgrimage was revealed; al-Shafi c I 
asserts that this came at al-Hudaybiyya in the words of the Almighty, "and 
complete the pilgrimage and the Himra for God" (sural al-Baqara; II, v. 196), 

This is why he (al-Shafi c J) held the view that the pilgrimage could be deferred 
and need not be performed as an urgent matter, because the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) did not himself make the pilgrimage until 10 AH. 

His view is opposed by the other three authorities, Malik, Abu Hanifa and 
Ahmad (Ibn Hanbal). According to them, the pilgrimage is to be considered a 
matter of urgency for all who can make it. They deny that its wujub, "necessity" 
is deduced from the Almighty's words, "and complete the pilgrimage and the 
Himra for God" but maintain that in this verse the requirement is only to finish 
it once it has been commenced. They prove this through various citations, to 



IMAM ABD AL-FIDA' iSMAqL IBN KATHIR 245 

many of which we referred in our explanation of this verse in our Tafiir (Exegesis). 
And to God is due all praise and credit. 

It was during this year that Muslim women were forbidden to polytheists. 
This was an exception to the general rule established by the truce agreed upon 
at al-Hudaybiyya that year, namely that members of Quraysh were to be returned 
to them even if wishing to accept Islam. And so the words of the Almighty 
were revealed, "O you who believe! If believing women should come to you as 
emigrants, then test them. God knows best about their faith. If you ascertain 
them to be believers, then do not return them to the unbelievers. These women 
are not permitted for marriage to those men, nor are those men permitted for 
marriage to those women" (surat al-Mumtahana; LX, v. 10). 

That year also there was the expedition to al-Muraysi c , during which the qissat 
al-ifk, the calumnious report, arose which ultimately resulted in the Revelation 
telling of the innocence of the umm al-miPminin, the mother of the believers, 
Wisha, as was related above. 

The Simra to al-Hudaybiyya occurred that year too, along with the blockade 
made by the polytheists against the Messenger of God (SAAS). Ultimately 
there resulted peace between them lasting ten years, during which time people 
lived in security with one another on the understanding that there should be 
neither fetters used nor swords drawn. Reference is made at length in the 
appropriate places heretofore; and to God belong all praise and credit. That year 
the polytheists had control of the pilgrimage. 

Al-Waqidl stated, "In Dhu al-Hijja of that year, the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
sent forth six men in the company of Hattb b. Abu Balta'a to al-Muqawqis, the 
governor of Alexandria. He also dispatched Shuja c b. Wahb b. Asad b. Judhayma, 
who was present at Badr, to al-Harith b. Abu Shammar al-Ghassani, the king of 
the Christian Arabs, that is. Also he sent Dihya b. Khalifa al-Kalbl to Caesar, he 
being Heraclius, emperor of Rome. And he dispatched <Abd Allah b. Hudhafa 
al-Sahml to Chosroe, king of the Persians. Also he sent Salit b. c Amr al-'Amiri 
to Hawdha b. c All al-Hanafl, and < Amr b. Umayya al-Damrl to the Negus, king 
of the Christians of Abyssinia, his name being Ashama b. al-Hurr." 



THE YEAR 7 AH. THE EXPEDITION AGAINST KHAYBAR, 
EARLY THAT YEAR. 

Shu'ba stated, from al-Hakim, who quoted c Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Layla as 
having said that the words, "and He rewarded them with a near victory" (sural 
al-Fath; XLVIII, v. 18), referred to Khaybar. 

Musa b. ^Uqba stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned (to 
Medina) from al-Hudaybiyya, he remained for some 20 days and then went forth 
to Khaybar; this was what God had promised to him." 

Musa narrated, from al-Zuhri, that the conquest of Khaybar was in 6 AH; 
what is correct is that this occurred early in 7 AH, as stated above. 



246 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then remained in Medina 
after his return from al-Hudaybiyya for Dhu al-Hijja and for part of ai-Muharram. 
He then went to Khaybar for the remainder of ai-Muharram." 

Yunus b. Bukayr stated, quoting Muhammad b. Ishaq, from al-Zuhfi, from 
c Urwa, that Marwan and al-Miswar stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
went forth in the year of al-Hudaybiyya and sural al-Fath (XL VIII) was revealed 
to him, while he was between Mecca and Medina. In Dhu al-Hijja, he came back 
and stayed until he went forth to Khaybar, making camp at al-Raji*. That is a 
valley between Khaybar and Ghatafan. He was concerned that Ghatafan might 
give them assistance. Next morning he attacked them." 

Al-Bayhaql stated, "Al-Waqidl related similarly on the authority of his sheikhs 
that he went forth (to Khaybar) early in 7 AH," 

c Abd Allah b. Idrls stated that Ishaq said to him, "<Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr 
related to me as follows, 'Since the conquest of Khaybar took place following 
al-Muharram, the Prophet (SAAS) arrived (back) at the end of Safar.'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He appointed Numayla b. c Abd Allah al-Laythl in 
command of Medina." 

Imam Ahmad stated, " c Affan related to us, quoting Wahib, quoting Khuthaym 
— Ibn c Arak, that is - who quoted his father (as saying) that Abo Hurayra arrived 
in Medina with a group of his people while the Prophet (SAAS) was at Khaybar, 
having left Siba c b. c Urfuta — of Banu Ghatafan, that is - in command of 
Medina. He, Abu Hurayra stated, 'When I went to him he was saying the 
al-subh prayer, at the first rak'-a reciting "kafhaya ^ayn mF ' (surat Maryam; XIX), 
and at the second, the verse, "Woe to those who default" {surat al-Mutafifina 
(or al-TatftJ); LXXXIII, v.l). I told myself, "Woe to so-and-so who receives 
full measure but gives short change!" ' " 

He went on, "When he had prayed, we went back some distance, as far as 
Khaybar; the Prophet (SAAS) had by then conquered Khaybar. He addressed 
the Muslims and gave us shares of the booty along with them." 

Al-Bayhaql related this from a hadtth of Sulayman b. Harb, from Wahib, 
from Khuthaym b. 'Arak, from his father, from men of Banu Ghifar, who said, 
"Abu Hurayra arrived in Medina and related this." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) left Medina for 
Khaybar, he went by way of Mt. ^Isr, where a mosque was built for him. He then 
passed by al-Sahba 5 , advancing with his army and eventually making camp at a 
modi by the name of al-Raji c . He made his camp between Khaybar and Ghatafan 
to prevent the latter from giving assistance to the people of Khaybar. They, 
Ghatafan, had declared their support for the Messenger of God (SAAS). I have 
heard that when Ghatafan heard about all this, they met together then went forth 
to give aid to the Jews against the Messenger of God (SAAS). When they had 
travelled for a day, however, they heard from home a rumour regarding their 
property and families. They thought that their enemy had surprised them and 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHlR 247 

so they retraced their steps and stayed with their property and families, leaving 
the way clear between the Messenger of God (SAAS) and Khaybar." 

Al-Bukhari stated that it was related to him by c Abd Allah b. Maslama, from 
Malik, from Yahya b. Sa c ld, from Bashir, that Suwayd b. al-Nu e man related to 
him that he went forth with the Messenger of God (SAAS) at the year of the 
attack on Khaybar, eventually reaching al-Sahba 5 , a place below Khaybar. There 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) led the al- c asr prayer, then called for provisions 
to be brought. All that was produced was al-sawiq, barley gruel. He ordered it to 
be diluted and he ate, as did we. He then arose to perform the al-maghrib prayer, 
rinsed out his mouth and prayed, without performing the ablutions. 

Al-Bukharl stated that <Abd Allah b. Maslama related to him, quoting Hatim 
b. Isma c ll, from Yazld b. Abu c Ubayd, from Salama b. al-Akwa e , who said, "We 
went forth for Khaybar with the Messenger of God (SAAS). We travelled by 
night, and one of our men said to { Amir, '^Amir, would you recite us a little 
something you have composed?' c Amir was a poet. So he dismounted to recite 
for our men, saying, 

'Allakumma] O God! Without You we would not have been 
rightly guided, 

Nor would we have given alms nor prayed. 

We beseech You to forgive what we have done (wrong) - may 
we be sacrificed for You! 

We beseech you to send down Your serenity upon us 

To make our feet secure when we meet our enemies. 

And if they cry out trying to subvert us, we will 
refuse. 

Already have they loudly sought others' help against 
us.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 'Who is this camel driver?' 'That's 
c Amir b. al-Akwa c ,' they replied. ' Yarhamuhu AllahX God have mercy on him!' he 
exclaimed. One of the men then commented, 'Have you then made his martyrdom 
inevitable, Prophet of God? I wish you had let us enjoy his (company) longer!' 

"When we reached Khaybar, we besieged them and were afflicted by great 
hunger. God then helped us conquer them and that evening - the evening of 
the conquest — the men lit many fires. The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 
'Why all these fires? What do you plan to cook?' 'Meat,' they replied. 'What 
kind of meat?' he asked. 'The meat of domestic donkeys.' The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) then said, 'Cast away the meat and break the pots!' One man asked, 
'Should we not throw away the meat but wash the pots?' 'Either waV,' 
he replied. 

"When the opposing forces were lined up for battle, c Amir's sword was short, 
and when he aimed it at a Jew's leg, the sharp blade swung back and injured his 
own knee, causing his death.' " 



248 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Salama went on, "When they returned from battle, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) saw me (looking sad) and took me by the hand, asking, 'What is wrong?' 
I replied, 'May my father and my mother be your ransom, they say that c Amir 
failed.' 62 The Prophet (SAAS) replied, 'Whoever said that lied; he will receive a 
double reward.' He raised two fingers, adding, 'He was a warrior whose valour 
few Arabs have ever matched.'" 

Muslim related this similarly from a hadith of Hatim b. Isma'il and others, 
from Yazld b. Abu 'Ubayd. 63 

Ibn Ishaq related the story of c Amir b. al-Akwa c from a different chain of 
authorities. He stated, "Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. al-Harith al-Taymi related to 
me, from Abo al-Haytham b. Nasr b. Dahr al-Aslaim, that his father related to 
him that he heard the Messenger of God (SAAS), while on his way to Khaybar, 
say to c Amir b. al-Akwa c , he being the uncle of Salama b. c Amr b. al-Akwa c , 
'Dismount, Ibn al-Akwa { , and let's hear one of your compositions.' So he did 
and recited the following, 

' 'Wallah^. By God! Without God we would not have been 
rightly guided, nor given alms, nor prayed. 

We are a people who, if badly treated or subverted, 
resist strongly. 

So send down serenity upon us and steady our feet when 
we clash with the enemy.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 'May your Lord have mercy 
on you!' TJmar b, al-Khattab then said, 'You've made it (his martyrdom) 
inevitable, Messenger of God! I wish you had let us enjoy him longer!' And he 
was martyred at Khaybar." 

He went on to related the manner of his death much as al-Bukhari had done. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "A source I do not doubt related to me, from <Ata° b. Abu 
Marwan al-Aslaim, from his father, from Abu Mu c tib b. c Amr, that when the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) reached a point overlooking Khaybar, he said, 
'Stop!' Then he spoke as follows before his Companions, of whom I was one, 
'O God, Lord of the heavens and all they shade, Lord of the earths and what 
they produce, Lord of the devils and their deceptions, Lord of the winds and 
what they winnow, we implore of You the good Of this village and the good of 
its people and the good of what it contains. And we seek refuge in You from 
its evil, from the evil of its people, and the evil of what it contains! Go forward, 
in God's name!'" 

This is a very anomalous hadith indeed, from this line of transmission. 

62. Since he had accidentally caused his own death rather than earned martyrdom at the hand 
of the enemy. 

63. Ibn Kathlr here comments on a grammatical point relating to the Arabic text; his explanation 
has been judged of too little interest for inclusion here. 



IMAM ABC AL-FIDA 3 ISMAIL IBN KATHJR 249 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql related it from al-Hakim, from al-Asamm, from al- 
HJtaridi, from Yunus b. Bukayr, from Ibrahim b. Isma c il b. Mujmi c , from Salih 
b. Kaysan, from Abu Marwan al-AsIaml, from his father, from his grandfather, 
who said, "We went foi'th with the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Khaybar. 
When we were near it and overlooking it, the Messenger of God (SAAS) told 
the men to stop and when they had done so, he said, 'O God, Lord of the seven 
heavens and what they shade, Lord of the seven earths and what they produce, 
Lord of the devils and their deception, we implore of You the good of this 
village and the good of its people and the good of what it contains. And we seek 
refuge in You from the evil of this village, from the evil of its people, and the 
evil of what it contains! Go forward, in the name of God the most-Merciful and 
Compassionate!'" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "A source I do not doubt related to me, from Anas b. Malik, 
who said, 'When the Messenger of God (SAAS) was about to attack an enemy, 
he refrained from doing so until it was morning. If then he heard a call to 
prayer, he would stop. If he did not, he would attack. We made camp at Khaybar 
overnight and the Messenger of God (SAAS) rested until morning came, at 
which time he did not hear a call to prayer. And so he mounted up and we all did 
so along with him. I rode behind Abu Talha, with my foot touching that of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). On the way, we met the Khaybar labourers leaving 
the village with their hoes and baskets. When they saw the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) they exclaimed, "It's Muhammad and his army!" They then turned 
away in flight. At that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "Allahu Akbarl God 
is most Great! Khaybar is ruined! It's a bad day for an enemy we have warned 
when we can dismount in their open square!" '" 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Harun related this to us similarly from Humayd, from 
Anas." 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Abd Allah b. Yusuf related to him, quoting Malik, 
from Hamid al-Tawil, from Anas b. Malik, (who said), "The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) arrived at Khaybar at night. Whenever he reached an enemy at night, 
he would not attack them until morning. When it was morning, the Jews came 
out bearing their hoes and baskets and, seeing what they did, they exclaimed, 
'It's Muhammad, by God! Muhammad and his army!' At this the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) commented, 'Khaybar is ruined! It's a bad day for an enemy we 
have warned when we can dismount in their open square!'" 

Al-Bukhari is alone in giving this account; Muslim did not. 

Al-Bukhari went on to state that Sadaqa b. al-Fadl related to him, quoting 
Abu HJyayna, quoting Ayyub, from Muhammad b. Sinn, from Anas b. Malik, 
who said, "We arrived at Khaybar early in the morning as its people were 
coming out bearing their hoes. When they saw the Prophet (SAAS) they 
called out, 'By God, it's Muhammad and his army!' At that the Messenger of 
God, God's peace and blessings be upon him, commented, 'Khaybar is ruined! 



250 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

It's a bad day for an enemy we have warned when we can dismount in their 
square!'" 

(Anas went on) "We captured some donkey meat. Then the crier of the 
Prophet (SAAS) called out, 'God and His prophet forbid you to eat the meat 
of donkeys; it is unclean!'" 

Al-Bukharl is unique in giving this; Muslim did not. 

Imam Ahmad stated that <Abd al-Razzaq related to him, quoting Ma%iar, 
from Qatada, from Anas, who said, "When the Prophet (SAAS) came to Khaybar, 
he found them carrying their hoes as they went out to their fields. When they 
saw him and the army with him, they fled back into their forts. The Prophet 
(SAAS) then said, i Allahu Akbar\ Khaybar is ruined! It's a bad day for those 
already warned if we can dismount in their open square!'" 

Ahmad is alone in giving this hadith; it conforms to the criteria for both sahih 
collections. 

Al-Bukharl stated that Sulayman b. Harb related to him, quoting Hammad b. 
Zayd, from Thabit, from Anas b. Malik, who said, "At Khaybar, the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) performed the pre-dawn prayer close to Khaybar and then he 
said, i AUahu Akbar\ Khaybar is ruined! It's a bad day for those already warned 
if we can dismount in their open square!' 

"They (the people of Khaybar) took various paths in flight. And the Prophet 
(SAAS) killed their warriors and took their families prisoner. Among the 
prisoners was Safiyya. She went to the lot of Dihya al-Kalbl, and then to the 
Prophet (SAAS), who set her free as her dowry. 

" c Abd al-'Aziz b. Suhayb said to Thabit, 'Abu Muhammad, was it you who 
asked Anas, "What was it he gave as her dowry?"' Thabit nodded in affirmation 
to him." 

He was alone in relating this hadith; Muslim did not. Both al-Bukhari and 
Muslim reported the prohibition of eating the meat of domestic donkeys through 
various chains of transmission in the work Kitab al-Ahkam. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql stated, "Abu Tahir, the jurist informed us, quoting Khattab 
b. Ahmad al-Tusl; Muhammad b. Hamid al-Abyuridi related to us, quoting 
Muhammad b. al-Fadl, from Muslim al-A%ar al-Mala'i, from Anas b. Malik, 
who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) used to visit the sick, follow behind 
funeral processions and respond to the pleas from slaves, and rode on donkeys. 
At the expeditions to Banu Qurayza and to al-Nadlr, he rode a donkey. At the 
batde of Khaybar he rode a donkey with a halter made of palm fibre, and his 
saddle was also made of palm fibre.'" 

Al-Tirmidhl related this hadith in its entirety from VUl b. Hajr, from c All b. 
Mushir, and Ibn Maja, from Muhammad b. al-Sabah, from Sufyan, and from 
'Umar b. Rafi c from Jarir, all of them quoting Muslim, he being Ibn Kaysan 
al-Mula 5 ! al-A c war al-Kufi, from Anas. Al-Tirmidhl stated, "We know of this 
only from his hadith; and he is a somewhat weak source." 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 251 

I comment that what is well established, in the sahih collection of al-Bukhari 
From Anas, is that the Messenger of God (SAAS) rode along with a Companion 
at Khaybar and that in consequence his pants became pulled up to his thigh. It 
is obvious that he was riding a horse that day, not a donkey. 

It may be that this hadtth, if true, makes it likely that he did ride donkeys on 
some days, while he was besieging the enemy. But God knows best. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Muhammad b. Sa c ld al-Khuza'l related to him, quoting 
Ziyad b. a!-Rabi c , from Abu 'Imran al-Jawnl, who said, "Anas looked out at 
the people on Friday and saw some taylasam,™ some shawls. He commented, 
'They look like the Jews of Khaybar!' " 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Abd Allah b. Maslama related to him, quoting Hatim, 
from Yazld b. Abu TJbayd,; from Salama b. al-Akwa<, who said, '"All b. Abu 
Talib was lagging behind the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Khaybar, suffering 
from sore eyes. £ Ali commented, 'How should I lag behind the Prophet (SAAS)?' 
And he joined him. 

"And on the night (before) when Khaybar was conquered, he said, 'I will 
certainly give the banner tomorrow to someone (or the words were: 'may someone 
tomorrow take the banner') whom God and His messenger love, and it will be 
conquered by him.' We had hoped for that, but it was said that this referred to 
c All. So it was given to him, and Khaybar was conquered." 

Al-Bukhari related (this) also, as did Muslim, from Qutayba, from Hatim. 

Al-Bukhari then stated that Qutayba related to him, quoting Ya c qtib b. ( Abd 
al-Rahman, from Abu Hazim, who said, "Sahl b. Sa<d narrated to me that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) said at Khaybar, 'I will certainly give this banner 
tomorrow to a man at whose hand God will grant victory, someone who loves 
God and His messenger and whom God and His messenger love.'" 

The account continued, "The men spent that night wondering to which of 
them it would be given. When morning came, they all went to the Prophet 
(SAAS), each hoping that it would be given to him. He (the Messenger of God 
(SAAS)) then asked, 'Where is <All b. Abu Talib?' 'Messenger of God,' they 
told him, 'his eyes are bothering him.' 'Send for him,' he said. They sent to fetch 
him and he came. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then spat in his eyes and 
said a prayer for him. And he was cured, there being pain no longer. He then 
gave him the banner. c Ali asked, 'Messenger of God, shall I battle them until 
they become as we are?' He replied, 'Continue riding until you reach their main 
square and dismount there. Then invite them to Islam and inform them of then- 
duties to the Almighty therein. And by God, if God gives guidance through you 
to just one man among them, that will be better for you than for you to have 
the humr al-na c m, the choice part of the herd!'" 

Muslim and al-Nasa 1 ! both related this from Qutayba. 

In the sahih collection of Muslim, and in al-Bayhaqi, there is given a hadtth 
of Suhayl b. Abu Salih, from his father, from Abu Hurayra, who said, "The 

64. A garment worn over the head and shoulders, not unlike a shawl. 



252 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Tomorrow I shall give the banner to a man 
who loves God and His messenger and whom God and His messenger love. 
God will grant victory at his hands.' 

'"Umar commented, 'It was only that day that I loved leadership!'" 
"He called for <All and gave him his mission. He then said, 'Go and fight on 
till God gives you victory; do not turn aside.' 'All asked, 'How long should I 
battle the enemy?' He replied, 'Fight them until they bear witness that there is 
no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger. If they 
do that they will have saved their blood from us, along with their possessions, 
except for what is otherwise justified, their accounting being with God.'" 
This is the phraseology given by al-Bukharl. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Mus'ab b. al-Miqdam and Jahsh b. al-Muthanna said 
that Israel related to them, quoting c Abd Allah b. ^sma al- ( Ijli, (who said), 
"I heard Abu Sa c id al-Khudari, may God be pleased with him, say, 'The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) took the banner and waved it. Then he asked, "Who 
will take it properly?" Someone came and said, "I will." He (the Messenger of 
God (SAAS)), told him to leave. He did so, and another man came up. He told 
him too to leave. The Prophet (SAAS) then said, "By Him who honoured the 
face of Muhammad, I shall certainly give it to a man who will not retreat." He 
then said, "Come here, "All." 

"'He then left and eventually God conquered Khaybar and Fadak at his 
hands, and he brought in its dates and dried meat.'" 

Ahmad is alone in giving this; its line of transmission is fair, though somewhat 
strange. 

This man c Abd Allah b. 'Isma is also known as "Ibn A'sam" and similarly by 
the honorific Abu c Alwan al-^jli. Originally from al-Yamama, he lived in Kufa. 
Ibn Mu ( In classified him as a reliable source. Abu Zur*a said, "He's a fairly good 
source." Abu Hatim said, "A sheikh". Ibn Hibban included him among reliable 
sources, saying, "He makes many errors." He also included him among weak 
sources. He commented, "He relates about well-established matters in ways 
dissimilar to those of the fully reliable authorities, so that one suspects that his 
reports may be imaginary or invented." 

Yunus b. Bukayr quoted Muhammad b. Ishaq as saying, "Burayda b. Sufyan b. 
Farwa al-Aslami related to me, from his father, from Salami b. c Amr b. al-Akwa*, 
may God be pleased with him, who said, 'The Prophet (SAAS) sent Abu Bakr, 
may God be pleased with him, to several of the forts at Khaybar. He engaged in 
battle, but then returned, there having been no conquest despite his efforts. 

"'He then sent < Umar, may God be pleased with him, and he battled and 
returned without conquest. The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "Tomorrow I 
shall certainly give the banner to a man whom God and His messenger love and 
who loves God and His messenger. God will grant victory at his hands; and he 
is not someone who retreats."'" 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 253 

Salama stated, "And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) called for < All b. Abu 
Talib, may God be pleased with him, whose eyes were bothering him that day. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) spat in his eyes, then said, 'Take the banner and 
carry on with it until God grants you victory.' 

"He went forth with it, travelling fast and with confidence, and we followed 
directly after him. Eventually he planted the banner in a pile of rocks beneath a 
fort. A Jew looked down from the fort and asked, 'And who are you?' He replied, 
'I am c Ali, son of Abu Talib!' The Jew then said, 'I swear by what was revealed 
to Moses, you are victorious!' And he did not return until God granted victory 
at his hands!" 

Al-Bayhaqi stated that al-Hakim informed him, quoting al-Asamm, quoting 
al- c Utaridi, from Yunus b. Bukayr, from al-Husayn b. Waqid, who quoted c Abd 
Allah b. Burayda, as having said, "My father narrated to me as follows, 'At the 
battle of Khaybar, Abu Bakr took the banner but returned without having been 
given victory. Mahmud b. Maslama was killed, and the army came back. 

'"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said, "Tomorrow I will certainly 
award my banner to a man who loves God and His messenger and whom God 
and His messenger love. He will not return until God grants him victory." We 
slept well that night, confident that the next day there would be victory. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) performed the morning prayer and called for the 
banner. He arose and then not one among us with good standing with the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) did not hope that he would be that man. I myself was 
presumptuous enough to hold my own head high in expectation, because of my 
standing with him. He called for c Ali b. Abu Talib, whose eyes were bothering 
him. He (the Messenger of God (SAAS) wiped them and then gave him the 
banner. And victory was granted him.'" 

(The narrator went on) "I heard c Abd Allah b. Burayda say, 'My father 
related to me that he was a friend of Marhab."" ,s 

Yunus stated that Ibn Ishaq said, "The first of the forts at Khaybar to be 
defeated was that of Na c im. There Mahmud b. Maslama was killed; a millstone 
was dropped from It upon him and it killed him." 

Al-Bayhaqi narrated, from Yunus b. Bukayr, from al-Musayyab b. Maslama 
al-Azdi, (who said) that c Abd Allah b. Burayda related to him, from his father 
who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) might well be affected by a bad 
headache and spend a day or two without going outside to the people. When he 
made camp at Khaybar he suffered a severe headache and did not come out 
to the men. Abu Bakr took up the banner of the Messenger of God (SAAS) and 
then set out to battle where he fought fiercely. He then returned. 'Umar next 
took it, fought a battle even more fierce than the first and then he returned. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) was informed of this and he said, 'Tomorrow I shall 

65. The reference is to a Jew who was champion of a feat at Khaybar. See the Ipadith reported 
hereafter, pp.254 et seq. 



254 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

certainly give it to a man who loves God and His messenger and whom God 
and His messenger love. He will take it (Khaybar) by force.' 

"'All was not present. The men of Quraysh there had aspirations for it, each 
one hoping to receive it. Next morning 'All b. Abu Talib came riding a camel of 
his. He made it kneel nearby. He was suffering from an eye ailment and had 
bound his eye with a piece of striped cloth. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
asked him, 'What's wrong?' He replied, 'My eyes became sore after you left.' He 
told him, 'Come close to me.' He then spat in 'All's eye and he suffered no pain 
from it till he left. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then gave him the banner and he took it 
and left. He was wearing a purple and red outer garment, the nap of which had 
worn off. When he reached Khaybar, Marhab, the commander of the fort, came 
out, wearing on his head a Yemeni helmet with a stone with a hole in it the size 
of an egg. He was reciting the following, 

'Khaybar knows that I am Marhab, fully armed, a hero, 
well tested. 

When lions advance and rage, their prey retreats from 
the victors' attack.' 

"'All, may God be pleased with him, responded with the verse, 

'I am he whom my mother named "Haydar", "lion", like 
those of the forests, extremely fierce 

I'll give you full measure for measure.'" 

He went on, "They exchanged two blows and 'All then surprised him with a 
blow that split the stone, and his helmet and his head, right down to the molars. 
He then conquered the city." 

The hafiz al-Bazzar related from 'Abbad b. Ya'qub, from 'Abd Allah b. Bakr, 
from Hakim b. Jubayr, from Sa'ld b. Jubayr, from Ibn 'Abbas, the story of the 
dispatch first of Abu Bakr, then of IJmar at Khaybar, and then the mission 
of 'All at whose hands victory came. In his text there are unsatisfactory and 
strange elements. His chain of transmission includes persons accused of Shi'i 
sympathies. But God knows best. 

Muslim and al-Bayhaqi, the following being the wording of the latter, related 
through Ikrima b. 'Ammar, from Iyas b. Salama b. al-Akwa', from his father who 
narrated a long account in which he told of their return from the expedition 
against Bant) Fazara. He said, "We remained there only three days before going 
forth to Khaybar. 'Amir went out and began to recite, 

'By God, had it not been for you, we would not have 
been rightly guided, nor given alms nor prayed. 

By your grace, we have not failed; so send down Your 
serenity upon us 

And make our feet firm when we meet the enemy.' 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHlR 255 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked who it was speaking. 'That is 'Amir,' 
they said. 'May your Lord forgive you!' he then said. And the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) never made such special mention of any person without him being 
martyred. < Umar, mounted on a camel, commented, 'I wish you had let us go 
on enjoying c Amir!' 

"When we approached Khaybar, Marhab came out, brandishing his sword 
and reciting, 

'Khaybar knows that I am Marhab, fully armed, a hero, 
well-tested, 

Like lions charging in fury.' 

"'Amir, may God be pleased with him, went out to challenge him, reciting, 

'Khaybar knows that I am 'Amir, fully armed, a hero 

brave.' 

"They exchanged two blows, then Marhab's sword struck into c Amir's shield. 
He charged vigorously at him, and he, c Amir, retreated and struck his own ankle, 
causing a fatal wound." 

Salama stated, "I then left and came across a group of the Companions of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), saying, ' c Amir's work was all in vain; he killed himself!' 

"When I approached the Messenger of God (SAAS) I was weeping and 
he asked, 'What's wrong with you?' I replied, 'They say that Amir's work was 
in vain.' 'And who said that?' he asked. 'Some of your Companions,' I replied. 
'They lied,' he said, 'he shall have a double reward.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then asked that £ All, who was suffering 
from sore eyes, be sent for and said, 'I shall certainly give the banner today to a 
man who loves God and His messenger.' I returned with 'All, leading him. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) then spat into his eye and he was cured. He gave him 
the banner. Marhab came forth, reciting, 

'Khaybar knows that I am Marhab, fully armed, a hero, 
well-tested, 

Like lions charging in fury.' 

" ( Ali went out to challenge him, saying, 

'I am he whom my mother named "Haydar", "Hon"; like 
those of the forests, fearsome in aspect. 
I'll give you full measure for measure.' 

"He then struck Marhab and split open his head, killing him. Then the conquest 
came." 

Thus according to this text it was c Ali who killed Marhab, the jew, God damn 
him! 

Ahmad stated that Husayn b. Hasan al-Ashqar related to him that Qabus b. 
Abu Zubyan related to him, from his father, from his grandfather, from c All, 



256 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

who said, "When I had killed Marhab, I brought his head to the Messenger of 
God (SAAS)." 

Musa b. ^qba narrated from al-Zuhri that the man who killed Marhab was 
Muhammad b. Maslama. Muhammad b. Ishaq stated the same, as follows, "<Abd 
Allah b. Sahl, of Banu Haritha, quoted from Jabir b. c Abd Allah as having said, 
'Marhab the Jew came forth from the fortress at Khaybar reciting the following, 

"Khaybar knows that I am Marhab, fully armed, a hero, 
well tested, 

Sometimes I thrust and at others I strike, like lions 
charging in fury. 

Those I defend are indeed under protection and shall 
not be approached." 

"'Ka^ b. Malik responded to him as follows, 

"Khaybar knows that I am Ka^b, the problem-solver, 
brave and determined. 

When warfare arises and the battle rages, I wield a 
sharp sword that pierces like lightning. 

He will tread you underfoot until the brave are 
humbled, by the hand of a faultless warrior.'" 

"As Marhab recited (other) verses, he asked, 'Will anyone engage me in combat?' 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 'Who will do this?' Muhammad b. 
Maslama responded, 'I will, Messenger of God! It is up to me to seek revenge, 
for they killed my brother yesterday.' He told him, 'Go at him! O God, give him 
aid against him!' 

"When they drew near one another a brittle old tree was there between them 
and each of them began using it to avoid his adversary. Whenever one of them 
took refuge behind it, the other would cut the wood with his sword to get at the 
other. Eventually the tree stood branchless, like a man. Marhab then attacked 
Muhammad b. Maslama and struck him. He met the blow with his shield and 
Marhab's sword cut into it and remained wedged there. He then withdrew it, 
and Muhammad struck at him until he had killed him." 

Imam Ahmad related this from Ya^qOb b. Ibrahim, from his father, from Ibn 
Ishaq, in similar terms. Ibn Ishaq went on to state, "Some people say that 
Muhammad b. Maslama recited the following verses as he struck him, 

'Khaybar knows that I am a warrior; sweet if I wish, or 
a deadly poison!"' 

Al-Waqidi related it thus from Jabir and other early authorities, to the effect 
that it was Muhammad b. Maslama who killed Marhab. 

Al-Waqidi went on to recount that Muhammad b. Maslama cut off both of 
Marhab's legs and that Marhab asked him, "Finish me off!" He replied, "Taste 
death as did Mahmud b. Maslama!" Then 'All passed by and cut off his head. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 257 

The two men later disputed over his possessions before the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), who gave to Muhammad b. Maslama his sword, his spear and his 
helmet along with its inner lining. Inscribed on his sword were the words, "This 
is the sword of Marhab; he who tastes it dies." 

Ibn Ishaq then recounted that Marhab's brother Yasir next came out, asking, 
"Who will do combat with me?" 

Hisham b. ^rwa claimed that al-Zubayr went out to fight him and Umm 
Safiyya, daughter of <Abd al-Muttalib, asked, "Messenger of God, will he kill my 
son?" He replied, "On the contrary, your son will kill him, if God so wills it." 
The two men then fought and al-Zubayr killed him. 

If anyone thereafter commented to al-Zubayr, "By God, your sword was 
really sharp that day!" he would reply, "I swear by God, it wasn't sharp. I just 
hit him really hard." 

Yunus stated, from Ibn Ishaq, from one of his people, from Abu Rafi e , the 
freed-man of the Messenger of God (SAAS), who said, "We went forth with c Ali 
to Khaybar; the Messenger of God (SAAS) had sent him out with his banner. 
As he approached the fort, its people came out to him and he battled them. One 
of them, a Jew, struck him and knocked his shield from his hand. c AIi picked 
up the gate of the fort and used it to defend himself. It stayed in his hand as he 
fought, until God (SAAS) granted him victory. He then threw it aside. And I, 
with seven others, myself being the eighth, tried hard to turn that door over, but 
we could not do it!" 

There seems some vagueness about this report, as well as an obvious gap in 
its chain of transmission. 

However, the hafiz al-Bayhaql and al-Haklm gave an account through Muttalib 
b. Ziyad, from Layth b. Abu Salim, from Abu Ja c far al-Baqir, from Jabir, that 
*AIl carried the gate at Khaybar so that the Muslims could climb over it and 
conquer the town. The account states that afterwards 40 men tried but could not 
carry it! 

There is weakness in this hadtth. There is a further weak account, from Jabir, 
that states, "Then 70 men joined together and it was all they could do to replace 
the gate." 

Al-Bukhari stated that Makkl b. Ibrahim related to him, quoting Yazld b. 
Abu c Ubayd, who said, "I saw a scar from a blow on Salama's leg. I asked him, 
'Abu Muslim, what blow caused this?' 'This is a wound I got at Khaybar. People 
told one another, "Salama was wounded!" Then I went to the Prophet (SAAS), 
and he blew on it three times. And I've never suffered from it right up till now.'" 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Abd Allah b. Maslama related to him, quoting Ibn Abu 
Hazim, from his father, from Sahl, who said, "On one of his expeditions, the 
Prophet (SAAS) met and battled the polytheists. Then each side returned to 
their camp. Among the Muslims there was one man who tirelessly chased after 



2 5 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

all and sundry of the polytheists, striking at them with his sword. Someone said 
to him, 'None of us has accomplished so much as so-and-so has.' He replied, 'He 
will go to hell.' They asked him, 'Well, if he's going to hell, which of us will go 
to heaven?' One of the men said, 'I'm going to follow him. Whether he hurries 
or slows down, I'll be with him.' Eventually the man was wounded and wanted 
to die. So he placed the hilt of his sword in the ground and its tip between his 
nipples and bore down on it, thus killing himself. 

"So the men (who had followed him) came to the Prophet (SAAS) and 
exclaimed, 'I do bear witness that you are the Messenger of God!' 'What's up 
with you?' he asked him and the man told him. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
then said, 'A man may perform actions like those who belong in paradise and 
seem to people to belong in paradise, yet be headed for hell, orhemay perform 
actions such as those of the inhabitants of hell and be headed for paradise.'" 

He related this also from Qutayba, from Ya'qub, from Abu Hazim, from Sahl. 
That account is the same, or almost so. 

Then al-Bukhari stated that Abu al-Yaman related to him, quoting Shu'ayb, 
from al-Zuhn (who said), "Sa ( id b. al-Musayyab informed me that Abu Hurayra 
said, 'We took part at Khaybar, and the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, referring 
to a man among his force who was pretending allegiance to Islam, "This man 
belongs in hell." When the fighting commenced, that man fought very fiercely 
and received many wounds, so that some people began to have their doubts. The 
man suffered much pain from his wounds and put his hand into his quiver, 
took out an arrow and cut his throat with it. Some of the Muslims hurried 
off and said, "Messenger of God, God has fulfilled what you said! So-and-so 
has committed suicide!" He then said, "Get up, so-and-so and so-and-so and 
announce, 'No one but a believer will enter paradise; and God aids the faith even 
through an evil man!""" 

Musa b. ^Uqba narrated from al-Zuhri the story of the black slave upon whom 
God bestowed faith and martyrdom within the same hour. Ibn Lahi'a narrated 
it similarly from Abu al-Aswad, from ^Urwa. Both stated, "There was a black 
Abyssinian slave who lived in Khaybar who cared for a herd belonging to his 
master. When he saw that the people of Khaybar were taking up their weapons, 
he asked them, 'What are you going to do?' 'We are going to do battle with that 
man who claims to be a prophet.' 

"This reference to a prophet had an impact upon him and he took his herd and 
approached the Messenger of God (SAAS), asking him, 'To what do you invite?' 
He replied, 'I invite you to Islam, to bear witness that there is no god but God, that 
I am the Messenger of God, and that you will not worship any other than God.' 
The slave then asked, 'What will I get if I bear witness to that and believe in God?' 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) replied, 'Paradise, if you die believing that.' 

"The slave accepted Islam and said, 'Prophet of God, this herd I have is my 
security.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 'Drive it out of our camp and 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 259 

throw stones at it. God will discharge your security from you Himself.' He 
did so, and the herd returned to its Jewish master, who realized that his slave 
had accepted Islam. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then arose and addressed 
his men." 

He went on to relate the hadith of him having given the banner to c Ali, the 
approach of the latter to the fort of the Jews, and his killing of Marhab. (The 
account states) "Also killed (while) with c Ali was that black slave, who was borne 
by the Muslims to their camp and brought into the main tent. They claim 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) looked inside the tent, then turned to his 
Companions and commented, 'God has honoured this slave and led him to good. 
Islam was truly within his heart. At his head I saw two of the kouris of paradise.'" 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql narrated through Ibn Wahb, from Haywa b. Shurayh, 
from Ibn al-Hadd, from Shurahbll b. Sa^, from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, who said, 
"We were with the Messenger of God (SAAS) at the expedition to Khaybar. A 
raiding party went out and they captured a man who was shepherding a herd." 

He went on to relate roughly the same story of the black slave and said of him, 
"He died a martyr and had not made a single prayer prostration to God!" 

Al-Bayhaql then stated that Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad 
al-Faqih related to him, quoting Abu Bakr al-Qattan, quoting Abo al-Azhar, 
quoting Musa b. Isma c ll, quoting Hammad, quoting Thabit, from Anas, that a 
man came to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, "Messenger of God, I'm 
a man who is black in colour, ugly of face and who owns nothing. If I fight those 
people until I'm killed, will I enter paradise?" "Yes," he replied. 

(Anas's account continues that) "the man then went forth and batded until 
he was killed. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) was brought to his body, he 
said, 'God has made your face handsome, sweetened your smell and increased 
your wealth.' Then he said, 'I saw his two wives, houris, competing to take off his 
gown; they were entering the space between his skin and his gown.'" 

Al-Bayhaql then narrated through Ibn Jurayj as follows, " { Ikrima b. Khalid 
informed me, from Ibn Abu c Ammar, from Shaddad b. al~Hadd, that a bedouin 
came to the Messenger of God (SAAS), expressed his belief in him and followed 
him, saying, 'I will go forth with you.' The Prophet (SAAS) gave him into the 
charge of one of his Companions. At Khaybar the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
received booty and divided it up, including a portion for this man which he gave 
to the Companions of this man for he had been guarding their rear. When he 
came to them they gave it to him. He asked, 'What is this?' They replied, 'The 
portion assigned to you by the Messenger of God (SAAS).' He responded, 'It 
was not for this that I followed you! I followed you so that I might be shot right 
here.' And he pointed with an arrow at his throat. 'So I would die and enter 
heaven!' He (the Messenger of God (SAAS)) then said, 'If you keep trust with 
God, he will keep trust with you.' 

"They then arose to battle the enemy. Later he was carried in to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS); he had been struck with an arrow where he had pointed! The 



260 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Prophet (SAAS) then asked, 'That is really him?' 'Yes,' they replied. He then 
said, 'He kept trust with God, so God kept trust with him.' 

"The Prophet (SAAS) then gave his own gown for him to be wrapped in, laid 
out his body in front and prayed over him. Part of his prayer that is known 
includes, 'O God, this is your servant; he went forth in your cause and was killed 
a martyr. I bear witness for him' " 

Al-Nasa 3 l related this from Suwayd b. Nasr, from <Abd Allah b. al-Mubarak, 
from Ibn Jurayj, in similar words. 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then took possession of the 
properties one by one as he conquered one fort after the next. The first of their 
forts conquered was Na c im. There Mahmud b. Maslama was killed; a millstone 
was tossed down on him and it killed him. The next fort was al-Qamus, that of 
Banu Abu al-Haqiq." 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) acquired captives from them. These captives 
included Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy b. Akhtab. She had been the wife of Kinana 
b. al-Rabl c b. Abu al-Haqiq. Also captured were two of her female cousins. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) chose Safiyya for himself; Dihya b. Khalifa had 
asked him for her; when the Messenger of God (SAAS) chose her for himself, 
he gave to Dihya her two cousins. 

The captives taken at Khaybar were distributed among the Muslims. The 
men were eating the flesh of donkeys, and the Messenger of God (SAAS) issued 
a proclamation against their doing this. 

Al-Bukhari devoted his attention to this and reported the prohibition from 
excellent sources. 

Its prohibition has been accepted by most scholars both early and later; all 
four of the "orthodox Imams" prohibited its consumption. 

However, some early authorities, including Ibn c Abbas, maintained that 
eating it was permissible. These scholars offered varying reasons for discounting 
the ahadith that have come down prohibiting it. For example, it was suggested 
that the prohibition came because they were using the donkeys for transport. 
Another reason given was that the prohibition related to the fact that the 
donkeys were booty that had not yet been divided up into the (required) 
fifths. It is also suggested that it related to the donkeys eating excrement, dung 
that is. 

The truth is that it was prohibited because of its nature. Authentic evidences 
relate that the crier of the Messenger of God (SAAS) called out, "God and His 
prophet prohibit your eating the meat of donkeys; it is unclean." 

Affirmation of this is to be found in the work Kitab al-Ahkam. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Sallam b. Kirkira related to me, from ( Amr b. Dinar, from 
Jabir b. <Abd Allah -Jabir himself not having been present at Khaybar - that 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 261 

when the Messenger of God (SAAS) prohibited people from consuming donkey 
meat, he also allowed them to eat horsemeat." 

The provenance of this is secure in both sahih collections, from a hadith of 
Hammad b. Zayd, from c Amr b. Dinar, from Muhammad b. *AJi, from Jabir, 
may God be pleased with him. He said, "At Khaybar, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) prohibited eating the meat of donkeys and gave permission for horses 
(to be eaten)." 

This is the phraseology given by al-Bukhari. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, " c Abd Allah b. Abu Najlh related to us, from Makhul, that 
the Prophet (SAAS) prohibited four things that day: intercourse with pregnant 
women, eating domestic donkeys, eating carnivorous animals, and selling the 
spoils of war before their (official) allotment." 

This hadith is mursal, lacking proper transmission back to the Prophet (SAAS). 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Yazld b. Abu Habib related to me, from Abu Marzuq, Najib's 
freed-man, from Hanash al-San'anl, who stated, 'We were on an expedition with 
Ruwayfi' b. Thabit, the ansari, to al-Maghrib, North Africa. One of the towns 
there, named Jirba, was conquered and a crier stood among us and announced, 
'I am telling you only what I heard the Messenger of God (SAAS) tell us at 
Khaybar. He stood up among us and said, "It is not permissible for a man 
who believes in God and the last day to mingle his sperm with that of others" - 
referring to intercourse with pregnant captive women. "It is not permissible for 
a man who believes in God and the last day to have intercourse with a captive 
woman before determining that she is without child. It is not permissible for 
a man who believes in God and the last day to sell any spoils of war before its 
allotment. It is not permissible for a man who believes in God and the last day to 
ride any mount from the captured stock of the Muslims and then to return it 
when it is exhausted. Nor is it permissible for a man who believes in God and the 
last day to wear any clothing from the captured stock of the Muslims and then 
to return it when it is worn out." '" 

Abu Da'ud narrated this similarly through Muhammad b. Ishaq. Al-Tirmidhi 
narrated it from Hafs b. c Amr al-Shaybanl, from Ibn Wahb, from Yahya b. 
Ayyub, from Rabija b. Salim, from Bishr b. < Ubayd Allah, from Ruwayfi* b. 
Thabit in abbreviated form. He characterized the hadith as hasan, "good". 

In the sahih of al-Bukharl, from Nafi', from Ibn ^Umar, it is stated that 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Khaybar prohibited the meat of domestic 
donkeys, and also the eating of garlic. 

Ibn Hazm narrated, from 'All and.Shurayk b. al-Hunbal, that they accepted 
the prohibition of onions and raw garlic. What al-Tirmidhl transmitted from them 
was that (use of them) constituted aljkaraha, 1 * a practice considered repugnant. 
But God knows best. 

66. That is, something for which there was disapproval but not prohibition. 



262 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

People speak of the hadtth given in both sahih collections through al-Zuhrl, 
from c Abd Allah and al-Hasan, sons of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, from their 
father, from his father c All b. Abu Talib, may God be pleased with him, that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) prohibited at Khaybar nikah al-mufa, "temporary 
marriage", and (eating) the meat of domestic donkeys. 

This wording in both sahih collections comes down through Malik and others, 
from al-Zuhrl. This hadtth requires that the prohibition of nikah al-mufia applied 
only to the battle at Khaybar. 

This is problematic, from two viewpoints. One is that at the battle of Khaybar 
there were no'women to be so married, and their having captive women obviated 
temporary marriage. 

The second problem is that it is established in the sahih of Muslim, related 
from al-Rabi' b. Sabra, from Ma<bad, from his father, that the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) gave permission to engage in al-mufa at the time of the conquest 
(of Mecca), but then prohibited it before he had left Mecca, saying, "God has 
prohibited it until Judgement Day." 

According to this, then he would have prohibited it, then permitted it and 
then for it to have been again prohibited. This would have required there to have 
been abrogation twice. And that is unlikely. 

Al-Shafi c l, moreover, stated that he knew of nothing that had ever been 
permitted then prohibited, then permitted and again prohibited, apart from 
nikah al-mufa. And the only reason he made the exception for this was because 
he was relying upon both these traditions referred to above. 

Al-Suhayll and others quote scholars who claim that it was permitted three 
times and prohibited three times. Others state that this happened four times. 
This is most unlikely. But God knows best. 

The authorities differ as to when was the first time it was prohibited. Some 
say at Khaybar, others at the l umrat al-qada?, others in the year of the conquest 
(of Mecca); this latter seems the most likely. Others say it was first prohibited at 
Awtas (a time close to that of the alternative preceding it); others say at Tabuk, 
others at the hijjat al-mada^, the "farewell pilgrimage". 

Abu Da°ud related this. 

Some scholars refute the hadtth related from <Ali, may God be pleased with 
him, by saying that it contains taqdim wa ta?kkir, "an inaccurate sequencing of 
time". 

The best alternative seems to be what the Imam Ahmad related, as follows, 
"Sufyan related to us, from al-Zuhri, from al-Hasan and c Abd Allah, the two sons 
of Muhammad (b. al-Hanafiyya) from their father. Hasan was the more convinced 
of the two that 'All had said to Ibn <Abbas, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
prohibited nikah al-mufa and eating the meat of domestic donkeys at Khaybar."' 

They said, "The narrator believed that the mention of Khaybar was the time 
and place for the prohibition of both; that was not so, however, since it was one 
only for the prohibition of donkey meat. There is no time and place mentioned 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 263 

in fact for nikah al-^mufa. He included this only because c Ali, may God be 
pleased with him, learned that Ibn c Abbas had permitted the nikah al-mufa and 
the meat of donkeys, as is well known. And the Commander of the Believers, 
( < Ali) therefore toid him, 'You are misguided. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
prohibited nikah al-mufa and the meat of domestic donkeys at Khaybar.'" 

He joined both together in this prohibition for him so that he would retract 
what he had considered permissible. 

Our teacher, the hafiz Abu al-Hajjaj al-Mizzi, may God encompass him in his 
mercy, tended to accept this explanation. 

Nevertheless, Ibn "Abbas did not retract the permission he had given regarding 
donkey meat and temporary marriage. He attributed the prohibition against 
eating donkeys to the fact that they were their baggage animals. As for temporary 
marriage, he only rendered this permissible in case of need while travelling. As 
for the prohibition, that referred to when the circumstances involved indulgence 
of wealth or lust. Various of his associates and followers have adopted his position. 
This was well known to be the view of the scholars of Hijaz up to the time of Ibn 
Jurayj and beyond. 

There is an account relating that Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal took the same 
position as Ibn c Abbas; however, this account is weak. 

Certain persons who adhere to the view of permissibility try to relate an 
account from the Imam (Ahmad) to the same effect. This also is inauthentic, but 
God knows best. The text relating to this is in the Kitab al-Ahkam. And help is 
sought through God. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then began advancing 
slowly upon their forts and properties. c Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that 
it was related to him by someone of Aslam that Banu Sahm of Aslam came to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 'Messenger of God, we have fought hard 
and yet we have nothing.' They had not found the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
able to give them anything. He then said, 'O God, You well know their state and 
that they have no strength and that I have nothing to give them. Open up before 
them the wealthiest of their fortresses and give them sufficiency mainly in fats 
and food.' Next morning the fort of al-Sa'b b. Mu<2dh was conquered for them. 
And no fort in Khaybar was wealthier or had richer food than it." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Various fortresses having been conquered and certain 
properties acquired, the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived finally at their forts 
called al-Watih and al-Sulalim; those were the last of the Khaybar castles to be 
conquered. The Messenger of God (SAAS) besieged the enemy there for some 
ten days." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "Their rallying cry at Khaybar was, Ya Mansurl Amit! 
Amitl 'O Victor! Kill! Kill.'"' 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Burdayda b. Sufyan al-Azdi al-Aslami related to me, from 
some men of Banu Salama, from Abu al-Yusr Ka'b b. c Amr, who said, 'I was 



264 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

with the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Khaybar one evening when a herd of sheep 
belonging to a Jew passed by, heading for their forts which we were besieging. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, 'Which man will feed us from these 
sheep?' I replied, 'I will, Messenger of God!' 'Then do so,' he told me. 

"So I went out, racing as hard as I could, like an ostrich. When he saw me do 
this, and was about to head back, he exclaimed, 'O God, let us enjoy him long!' 
When I had reached the sheep, the first ones had already entered their fort. But 
I caught two ewes from their rear, tucked them under my arms and sped back, 
carrying them as if I bore nothing. I threw them down before the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), and they slaughtered and ate them both." 

Abu al-Yusr was one of the last of the Companions of the Messenger o£God 
(SAAS) to die. He would weep when telling this hadith, and then say^And they 
were given my whole life to enjoy; I was the last of them." / 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql stated in Dala>iI(Tke Signs) as follows, "Abu Muhammad 
c Abd Allah b. Yusuf al-Isbahanl informed us, quoting c Abo Sa c id b. al-AVabl, 
quoting Sa^an b. Nasr, quoting Abu Mu'awiya, from c Asim al-Ahwal, from 
Abu c Uthman al-Nahdi (or from Abu Qalaba) who said, 'When the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) advanced on Khaybar, the fruit was unripe. But the men raced 
for it, became feverish and complained to him of this. He told them to cool water 
in pots and then to have this poured over them when dawn came and to repeat 
the name of God. They did this and it was as though they had been hobbled 
and then had their cords removed.'" 

Al-Bayhaql stated, "We related this hadith from c Abd al-Rahman b. Rati* with 
an uninterrupted line of transmission. According to it the phrase 'between the 
al-maghrib and the al^asha times for prayer' was used." 

Imam Ahmad stated that Yahya and Bahz both related to him as follows, 
"Sulayman b. al-Mughira related to us, quoting Humayd b. Hilal, quoting c Abd 
Allah b. Mughaffal, who said, 'My share of the booty at Khaybar was a leather 
bag of lard. I gripped it tight and said, "I'll not give any of this to any one!" Then 
I turned and saw the Messenger of God (SAAS) smiling."' 

Ahmad said, " c Affan related to us, quoting Shu'ba, from Hamld b. Hilal, 
quoting c Abd Allah b. Mughaffal, who said, 'While we were besieging the fortress 
at Khaybar, someone threw down at us a leather bag containing lard. So I went 
and took it. Then I saw the Prophet (SAAS), and I felt ashamed.'" 

Both compilers of the sahih collections gave it from a hadith of Shu^a. 
Muslim also related it, from Shayban b. Farukh, from ^Uthman b. al-Mughira. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Someone whose word I do not doubt related to me from 
<Abd Allah b. Mughaffal al~Mazani as follows, 'At Khaybar, I captured a leather 
bag of lard. I carried it around my neck and went off to my mount and my 
companions. The man placed in charge of the booty then came up to me and 
grabbed the side of it, saying, "Come on! Not till it's divided up among the 
Muslims." I replied, "No, by God, I'll not give it to you!" He then began pulling 



IMAM ABO AL~FIDA> ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 265 

the bag away from me. Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw us while we were 
behaving this way, and he smiled and laughed. He then told the booty-master, 
"Let him have it." So he released it and I went off with it to my mount and to 
my companions and we ate It.'" 

Most scholars refer to this hadith in relation to Imam Malik's prohibition of 
the use of the fat from animals sacrificed by Jews and captured by Muslims. This 
is because God Almighty stated, "and the food of those to whom the Book came 
is permissible for you" {surat al-Ma'ida; V, v. 5). He (Imam Malik) said, "This is 
not food for them (the Jews)." (His opponents, however,) cite this hadith against 
him. Nevertheless, there are doubts about this hadith. This lard could well have 
been permitted to them. But God knows best. 

This hadith was also cited to show that food is not subject to the division 
into fifths. This is supported by what Imam Abu Da'ud related, as follows, 
"Muhammad b. al-'Ala* related to us, quoting Abu Mu'awiya, quoting Ishaq 
al-Shaybani, from Muhammad b. Abu Mujalid, from c Abd Allah b. Abu Awfa, 
who said, 'I asked, "Didn't you divide up (captured) food into the fifths during 
the time of the Messenger of God (SAAS)?" He {sic) replied, "We did capture 
food at Khaybar. People would come and take of it what they needed, then 
leave.'"" 

Abu Da'ud is alone in giving this; the hadith is hasan, "good". 



An Account of the Story of Safiyya, daughter ofHuyayy b. Akhtub 
al-Nadriyya, may God be pleased with her. 

When the Messenger of God (SAAS) forced the Jews of Banu al-Nadir to vacate 
Medina, as was related above, most of them went to Khaybar. Their number 
included Huyayy b. Akhtub and Banu Abu al-Huqayq, who were persons of 
wealth and prestige among their people. Safiyya at that time was a child, not 
yet having reached maturity. Thereafter, when she was ready for marriage, it was 
arranged to her cousin. When she was conducted to him after the wedding, he 
consummated the marriage. Their married life continued for some time. Then 
in her sleep she saw the moon descend from the sky in her lap. She related this 
vision to her cousin, who slapped her face and said, "So you yearn to have the 
'king of Yathrib' as your husband, do you?" 

Soon thereafter the arrival and siege of them by the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
occurred and Safiyya was among those captured, while her husband was killed. 

Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) chose her and she became part of his 
household, to which she now belonged, as will be related. After ascertaining that 
she was not pregnant and not menstruating he consummated marriage with her 
and discovered the mark made on her cheek by her husband's blow. He asked her 
about this, and she related to him what she had seen in those wonderful visions. 
May God be pleased with her and grant her pleasure. 



266 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Al-Bukhari stated that Sulayman b. Harb related to him, quoting Hammad 
b. Zayd, from Thabit, from Anas b. Malik, who said, "The Prophet (SAAS) 
performed the al-subh, morning prayer, while it was still dark, near Khaybar. 
He then said, i AIlahu Akbar\ God is most Great! Khaybar is ruined! It's a 
bad day for an enemy who has been warned when we can dismount in then- 
open square!' 

"Then the enemy hurried to escape along the alleyways and the Prophet 
(SAAS) killed their warriors and took their children captive. Among the 
prisoners was Safiyya. She went to Dihya al-Kalbi, and then to the Prophet 
(SAAS), who gave her her freedom as her dowry." 

Muslim also related this from a hadith of Hammad b. Zayd which has several 
lines of transmission from Anas. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Adam related to him, from Shu^ba, from c Abd aMAziz 
b. Suhayb, who said, "I heard Anas b. Malik say, 'The Prophet (SAAS) took 
Safiyya captive and then gave her her freedom and married her.' Thabit asked 
Anas, 'Did he not give her a dowry?' He replied, 'He gave her herself as dowry, 
rewarding her her freedom.'" 

Al-Bukhari is alone in giving this from this line. 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Abd al-Ghaffar b. Da'ud related to him, quoting 
Ya'qub b. c Abd al-Rahman, as did Ahmad b. ^Isa, quoting Wahb (who said), 
"Ya'qub b. c Abd al-Rahman al-Zuhrl informed me, from < Amr, the freed-man 
of al-Muttalib, from Anas b. Malik, who said, 'We came to Khaybar. After the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had conquered the fortress, mention was made to him 
of the beauty of Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy b. Akhtub. Her husband had been 
killed, she still being a bride. The Prophet (SAAS) then chose her for himself. 
He left with her, travelling in her company until he reached Sudd al-Sahba'. She 
was then free of her menses and so the Messenger of God (SAAS) consummated 
his marriage with her. Thereafter, he made some hays, dates with butter, on a 
small leather mat. Then he told me, "Make an invitation to those around you." 
And this was the wedding banquet given for Safiyya. We then left for Medina. I 
saw the Prophet (SAAS) make a cushion behind himself for her with his cloak 
and would then sit upon his mount. He would bend his knee and she would put 
her foot on it, then mount up.'" 

Al-Bukhari is alone in giving this; Muslim does not. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Sa c id b. Abu Maryam related to him, quoting 
Muhammad b. Ja'far b. Abu Kathir (who said), "Humayd narrated to me that 
he heard Anas say, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) stayed between Khaybar 
and al-Madd for three nights, Safiyya being brought to him for consummation 
of their marriage. I invited the Muslims to his wedding banquet. There was 
no bread or meat; all he did was order Bilal to get some leather dishes in which 
he threw some dates, sour milk cheese and butter. The Muslims asked, "Is 
she to be considered one of the ummahat al-mu?minin, 'mothers of the believers', 
or someone taken captive?" They replied, "If he keeps her veiled, then she is 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 267 

one of the Former; if not, then of the latter." When he rode on, he placed her 
behind himself and put a veil over her.'" 

Al-Bukhart is alone in relating this. 

Abu Da'ud stated that Musaddad related to him, quoting Hammad b. Zayd, 
from c Abd al-'AzIz b. Suhayb, from Anas b. Malik, who said, "Safiyya went to 
Dihya al-Kalbi, and then to the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Abu Da°ud also stated, "Ya<qub b. Ibrahim related to us, saying, 'Ibn 'Aliyya 
related to us, from ( Abd al-'Azlz b. Suhayb, from Anas, who said, "The captives 
were gathered" — meaning at Khaybar — "and Dihya arrived and said, 'Messenger 
of God, award me a slave girl from amongst the captives.' He replied, 'Go along 
and select one.' He selected Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy. Then a man came to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 'Prophet of God, you gave to Dihya' 
(Ya^ub added, 'Safiyya, daughter of Huyay, a lady of Qurayza and al-Nadir') 
'someone for whom only you are appropriate.' He replied, 'Have her brought.' 
When the Prophet (SAAS) saw her, he said, 'Take a slave girl from the captives 
other than her.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) then set her free and married 
her.""' 

He gave this account from a hadith of Ibn c Aliya. 

Abu Da'ud stated that Muhammad b. Khallad al-Bahili related to him, 
quoting Bahz b. Asad, quoting Hammad b. Salama, quoting Thabit, from Anas, 
who said, "A lovely slave girl fell to the lot of Dihya, but the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) bought her for a price of seven head of cattle. He then gave her over 
to Umm Salama to prepare her." Hammad (b. Salama) said, "And I believe he 
said, 'And she was readied in her house, Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy.'" 

Abu Da^ud alone gave this hadith. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) conquered al-Qamus, the 
fort of Banu Abu al-Huqayq, brought to him were Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy 
b. Akhtub and another girl, Bilal, who had brought them both, had gone past 
some of the Jews who had been killed. When the woman with Safiyya saw 
them she screamed, slapped her face and poured dirt over her head. When the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) saw her, he said, 'Get that she-devil away from me!' He 
ordered Safiyya to be brought to him and she was placed behind him and he threw 
his cloak over her. And so the Muslims knew that he had chosen her for himself. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then told Bilal, so I have been informed, 
after having seen how that Jewess had behaved, 'Have you lost your sense of 
compassion, Bilal, taking the two women past their dead menfolk!' 

"While still the bride of Kinana b. al-Rabi' b. Abu al-Huqayq, Safiyya had 
seen a vision in her sleep that a moon dropped into her lap. She told her husband 
of her vision and he replied, 'That's only because you desire the "king of Hijaz", 
Muhammad!' He then gave her a slap on her face that blackened her eye. The 
mark of this was still upon her when she was brought to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS). He asked her how it had happened, and she told him." 



268 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) had Kinana b. aUlabl c 
brought to him; he was in charge of the Banu al-Nadir treasury. When asked 
about it, Kinana denied knowledge of its whereabouts. Then there was brought 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS) a Jew who said, 'I saw Kinana circle around 
the treasure early every morning.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) then said to 
Kinana, 'Do you realize that I'll kill you if we find it with you?' 'Yes,' he replied. 
Then the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered that their treasure be dug up and 
some of it was brought out. He then asked Kinana the whereabouts of the rest, 
but he refused to hand it over. And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered 
al-Zubayr b. al- c Awam to go to him, saying, 'Torture him until you root out 
what he has.' Al-Zubayr then repeatedly struck fire on his chest until he was 
close to death. Finally, the Messenger of God (SAAS) pushed him over to 
Muhammad b. Maslama, who cut off his head in revenge for the loss of his 
brother, Mahmud b. Maslama." 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) besieged the people of 
Khaybar in their two forts al-Watih and al-Sulalim. When they were sure that 
all was lost, they asked him to let them leave, and to spare their blood. He did so. 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) had seized all the wealth of al-Shiqq, al-Nitat 
and al-Katlba, and all their forts, except for those two. When the people at Fadak 
heard what had happened to the others, they wanted the same. So they sent to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS), asking him to let them leave and to spare their 
blood on the understanding that they would leave their possessions for him. He 
agreed. One of the intermediaries between the Messenger of God (SAAS) and 
them in this matter was Muhayyisa b. Mas'ud, brother of Banu Haritha. 

"When the people of Khaybar surrendered on this agreement, they asked the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) to grant them a half share in the properties, saying, 
'We know more about it than you do, and we'll make it produce more.' The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) made peace with them on this basis of half shares, 
provided that, 'If we wish to expel you, we will do so.' He made a similar 
arrangement with the people of Fadak." 

Section: On the Conquest of their Forts and the Division of their Land. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "When the Jews from the forts of Na c im and of that of 
al-Sa^ b. Mu'adh went to that of al-Zubayr, the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
besieged them for three days. Then one of the Jews, a man named c Azal, came 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 'Abu al-Qasim, will you give 
me protection if I direct you to what refreshes the people of al-Natat and 
then proceed against those of al-Shiqq? Those at al-Shiqq are deathly afraid 
of you.'" 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMATL IBN KATHIR 269 

He went on, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) did give this man protection 
for his family and possessions, and the Jew then told him, 'If you were to stay a 
whole month besieging them, they would not care. They have underground 
springs to which they can go out at night and drink from and then return to 
their fortress.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then gave orders that their springs be cut 
off and the Jews came out and fought most fiercely. A number of the Muslims 
were killed that day, as were ten of the Jews. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
then conquered it. The last of these forts (to fall) was al-Natat. He then turned 
his attention to al-Shiqq, which consisted of several forte. The first one he 
attacked was Ubayy. The Messenger of God (SAAS) then attacked a castle 
named Sarnwan and he fought for it most vigorously. One of the enemy there, a 
man named <Azul, came forth and made a challenge for single combat. Al-Habab 
b. aJ-Mundhir went out to fight him and cut off half his arm, the man's sword 
dropping from his hand. The Jew fled, but al-Habab followed him and severed 
his tendon. Another of them then emerged for single combat and one of the 
Muslims went forth to meet him. The Jew killed him. Abu Dujana then went out 
against him, killing him and seizing his weapons. After that they offered no more 
challenges for single combat and the Muslims shouted 'Allahu Akbar\ God is 
most Great!' They then mounted an attack on the fortress and entered it, led 
by Abu Dujana. Inside they found furniture, furnishings, cattle and food. The 
fighting men who had been inside fled in great haste, like lizards, until they 
reached the forts al-Bazat, at al-Shiqq. There they put up a strong defence; but 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men moved slowly towards them and 
they exchanged arrows. The Messenger of God (SAAS) actually shot at them in 
person until their arrows wounded his fingertips. He then picked up a handful of 
stones which he cast at their fort which shook under their impact and collapsed 
to the ground. The Muslims then defeated them in hand-to-hand combat," 

Al-Waqidi stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then turned his attention 
to the inhabitants of al-Akhbiyya, and of al-Watlh and al-Sulalim, two forts 
of Abu al-Huqayq. These they defended strenuously, having been joined by all 
those who had been defeated from al-Natat to al-Shiqq. These joined with the rest 
in defending al-Qamus and al-Katlba - a very strong fortress - and in al-Watih 
and al-Sulalim. Ultimately they stopped looking down and the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) erected a catapult to use against them. 

"When they were sure their defeat was certain, the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
having by then besieged them for 14 days, Ibn Abu al-Huqayq came down to 
him and made peace. The conditions were that he would spare their lives and 
allow them to withdraw, while they would give him free access to their lands, 
properties, gold, silver, horses, armour and weapons, while they could keep only 
what was l ala zahri insan, 'on their backs', their clothing, that is. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) stated, 'But the protection of God and of His messenger is lost 
to you if you conceal anything.' They made peace on that basis." 



270 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

I note that when they did hide things and told lies, concealing that leather bag 
in which they had much wealth, it became clear that they were not keeping to 
their pact. And so he killed both sons of Abu al-Huqayq and part of his family 
because they had broken their pacts and agreements. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaqi stated that Abu al-Hasan c All b. Muhammad al-Muqrl 
al-Asfarayini stated to him, quoting al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. Ishaq, quoting 
Yusuf b. Ya ( qub, quoting c Abd al-Wahid b. Ghiyath, quoting Hammad b. 
Salama, quoting t Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar — according to Abu Salama - from Nafi', 
from Ibn IJmar, who said that the Messenger of God (SAAS) battled against 
the people of Khaybar until he forced them to take refuge in their fortress. He 
thus gained control of their land, their produce and their date-palms. They then 
made peace with him. The conditions were that they would leave their fortress 
keeping what their mounts would carry. To the Messenger of God (SAAS) would 
go their gold, and silver. They would move away and not hide or fail to disclose 
anything; if they did so, they would have no valid pact of agreement. 

"They then concealed a leather bag containing money and jewels belonging to 
Huyayy b. Akhtub; he had carried it with him to Khaybar when Banu al-Nadir 
was expelled. The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked at this time, 'What happened 
to the leather bag of Huyayy that he brought from al-Nadir?' He 67 replied, 'Various 
expenses and the warfare have exhausted it.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
responded, 'Only a little time has passed and there was more money than 
that.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) then pushed him over to al-Zubayr who 
tortured him. Before this, Huyayy had gone inside a ruin and he 68 reported seeing 
Huyayy circling it. They then went and searched, ultimately finding the bag in 
the ruin. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then killed the two sons of Abu al-Huqayq, 
one of whom was the husband of Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy b. al-Akhtub. He 
took their women and children captive and divided up their possessions since 
they had broken their agreement. 

"He wanted to expel them, but they said, 'Muhammad, let us stay on this land 
to care for and improve it.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) and his Companions 
had no revenues from farming to live on and they themselves were too occupied 
otherwise to work on the land. And so he gave Khaybar over to them on condition 
that they would have an equal part of all the produce, dates and other returns, 
for so long as the Messenger of God (SAAS) wished. 

" c Abd Allah b. Rawaha would come to them every year to receive payment 
for it from them, paying them their half. But they complained to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) at the zeal with which he performed this task. They had tried 
to bribe him. He told them, 'You enemies of God! Would you pay me with 

67. Presumably Kinana b. al-Rabi c b. Abu al-Huqayq, as related in the other accounts given 
above. 

68. It is unclear who is implied. Presumably a third party, as recounted heretofore. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 271 

ill-gotten gains! By God, I come to you on behalf of the person most dear to 
me of all. You are more hateful in my view than the monkeys and pigs that are 
your like! But my hatred for you and my love for him will not lead me to fail 
to treat you fairly.' 

"They replied, 'By this, heaven and earth are set.' 6 ' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) noticed some blackness around Safiyya's 
eye and he asked her, 'Safiyya, what is this blackness?' She replied, 'My head was 
in the lap of Ibn Abu al-Huqayq while I slept. I seemed to see a moon drop into 
my lap. When I told him of this, he slapped me, saying, "You yearn for the 'king 
ofYathrib'!"' 

"She went on, 'I thought of the Messenger of God (SAAS) as the most 
hateful of men. He killed my husband and my father. But he kept on explaining 
to me, saying, "Your father incited the Arabs against me and did so on and 
so forth." Eventually all that left my mind.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) used to give each of his wives 80 bags of 
dates and 20 of barley annually. During the Caliphate of ^Umar, they cheated the 
Muslims, and threw 'Umar's son down from atop a house, breaking his wrists. 
'Umar then said, 'Those owning a share of Khaybar should come for us to divide 
it up.' He did divide it up and their (the Jews') leader said, 'Don't expel us; allow 
us to remain in it as did the Messenger of God (SAAS) and Abu Bakr too.' 
'Umar responded, 'Do you consider that what the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
said does not apply to me! But how would you feel if your mount raced off 
towards Syria, day after day after day!'™ 

" c Umar then divided it up between those who were at al-Hudaybiyya and then 
at Khaybar." 

Abu Da°ud related this in abbreviated form from a hadith of Hammad b. 
Salama. 

Al-Bayhaqi stated, "Al-Bukhari appended the following in the margin of his 
book, 'Hammad b. Salama narrated it.'" I note, however, that I did not see this. 
But God knows best. 

Abu Da'ud stated that Sulayman b. Da'ud al-Mahri related to him, quoting 
Ibn Wahb, who said that Usama b. Zayd al-Laythl informed him, from Nafi ( , 
from c Abd Allah b. 'Umar, who said, "When Khaybar was conquered, the Jews 
asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) to allow them to remain on condition that 
they would work for one-half of what it produced. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) told them, 'I will allow you to stay in it on that condition for as long as 
we wish,' 

69. In a footnote to his translation of Ibn Ishaq's work, (op. cit. p.523) Guillaume points out that 
this is an authentically Jewish expression and that its inclusion here attests to the accuracy of the 
narrator here. 

70. This is a reference to the charges against the Jews of Khaybar for having broken promises 
and failed to fulfil contracts. 



272 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"And so they did. The dates, of one-half of Khaybar, were divided into shares 
and the Messenger of God (SAAS) would take a portion of one-fifth. From that 
fifth, he would provide 100 bags of dates and 20 of barley for each of his wives, 
annually. 

"When 'Umar wished to evict the Jews, he sent to the wives of the Prophet 
(SAAS) and told them, 'Whichever of you wishes me to set aside for her (land 
that would produce) 100 bags, she may have the roots, land and water therefor, 
along with the plants to produce 20 bags of barley. This I will arrange. Those 
who prefer us to set aside what she owns of the fifth share as it has been, this too 
we will do.' " 

Abu Da°Qd narrated from a hadtth of Muhammad b. Ishaq, who said, "Nafi c 
related to me, from c Abd Allah b. Vmar, that TJmar stated, 'O people, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) made a pact with the Jews of Khaybar on the 
understanding that he could expel them if he wished. Those with property there 
should go to it; I am expelling the Jews.' And he did expel them." 

Al-Bukharl stated that Yahya b. Bukayr related to him, quoting al-Layth, 
from Yunus, from Ibn Shihab, from Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, (who said) that Jubayr 
b. Mut ( im informed him as follows, "I and < Uthman b. ^ffan walked over to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) and said, 'You gave to Banu al-Muttalib a part 
of the fifth share of Khaybar but left us out, even though we and they have the 
same status with you.' He replied, 'Well, Banu Hashim and Banu al-Muttalib 
are one.' Jubayr b. Mut c im stated, 'The Prophet (SAAS) gave no share to Banu 
<Abd Shams, nor to Banu Nawfal.'" 

He is alone in giving this hadtth; Muslim did not. 

There is one version that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "Banu Hashim 
and Banu c Abd al-Muttalib are one; they were not separate from us before Islam 
or thereafter." 

Al-Shafi t l stated, "They went into the defile with them and gave them help 
after their having accepted Islam just as they had before Islam. 

"Abu Talib expressed displeasure with Banu c Abd Shams and Nawfal, saying, 
'May God punish badly c Abd Shams and Nawfal for us, and the sooner the 
better!"' 

Al-Bukharl stated that al-Hasan b. Ishaq related to him, quoting Muhammad 
b. Thabit, quoting Za'ida, from t Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar, from Nafi c , from Ibn 
'Umar, who said, "At Khaybar, the Messenger of God (SAAS) awarded a double 
share to each horse and a single share to each man on foot. 

"This pleased Nafi c , who said, 'So if a man had a horse, he received three 
shares: two for the horse, one for himself.'" 

Al-Bukharl also stated that Sa c ld b. Abu Maryam related to him, quoting 
Muhammad b. Ja c far (who said), "Zayd informed me, from his father, that he 
heard ^mar b. al-Khattab say, 'By Him who bears my soul in His hands, were 
I not afraid that the other Muslims might be left in poverty, I would divide up 
(among the warriors) each village conquered for me, just as the Prophet (SAAS) 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 273 

divided up Khaybar. However, I will leave it all to them as a (source of) treasury 
for them to distribute among themselves."' 

Al-Bukhart also related this from a hadtth of Malik; Abu Da'od did so from 
Ahmad b. Hanbal, from Ibn Mahdl, from Malik, from Zayd b. Aslam, from his 
father, from c Umar. 

This text requires that Khaybar was divided up in its entirely among those 
who had earned the booty. 

Abu Da°ud stated, "Ibn al~Sarh related to us, (who said), 'Ibn Wahb informed 
us, saying, "Yunus informed me, from Ibn Shihab, who said, 'I learned that the . 
Messenger of God (SAAS) took Khaybar by force, after fighting, and left some 
of its inhabitants still there after the battles.""" 

Al-Zuhri stated on this, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) divided Khaybar 
into fifths, allotting it all to those who fought there." 

However, there is some disagreement over al-Zuhri's statement. What is true 
is that all of Khaybar was not divided up; in fact, only one-half of it was divided 
between the men, as will be shown. 

Malik and his followers use this argument, stating that the Imam may choose 
what is best to do with conquered territories. He may divide them up (between 
those capturing them), or he may set them aside for the benefit of all Muslims. 
Alternatively, he may, if he wishes, divide up part of them and set aside part 
to care for whatever circumstances and needs may arise. 

Abu Da'ud stated, "Al-Rabi' b. Sulayman, the muezzin, related to us, quoting 
Asad b. Musa, quoting Yahya b. Zakariyya 1 (who said) 'Sufyan related to me, 
from Yahya b. Sa^d, from Bashir b. Yasar, from Sahl b. Abu Hathma, who said, 
"The Messenger of God (SAAS) divided Khaybar into two halves; one-half 
was for his own responsibilities, and one-half went to the Muslims; he divided it 
up among them on the basis of 18 parts/"" 

Abu Da'ud is alone in giving this hadtth. He then related, from a hadtth of 
Bashir b. Yasar that is tnursal, incomplete in its line of transmission, "he assigned 
to the half allotted for his needs (responsibilities) al-Watih, al-Katlba, al-SuIalim 
and their adjoining properties, and gave to the Muslims the half consisting of 
al-Shiqq and al-Natat and their adjoining properties; the portions of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) was what adjoined both of these." 

He also stated that Husayn b. <AU related to him, quoting Muhammad 
b. Fudayl, from Yahya b. Sa c id, from Bashir b. Yasar, the freed-man of the 
ansar, from men among the Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 
(These men stated) that the Messenger of God (SAAS) gained victory over 
Khaybar and divided it into 36 shares, each of which combined 100 shares. To 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) and the Muslims went one-half of this. The 
second half he put aside for those from the delegations who came to stay with 
him, and for other matters, along with some portions set aside for those who 
suffered special misfortune. 

Abu Da'ud is alone in giving this. 



274 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

He also stated that Muhammad b. ^sa related to him, quoting Mujmi c b. 
Ya^ub b. Mujmi c b. Yazld al-Ansari (who said), "I heard Abu Ya'qub b. Mujmi* 
say, on the authority of his uncle c Abd al-Rahman b. Yazld al-Ansari, from his 
uncle Mujmi c b. Haritha al-Ansari - he being one of the reciters of the Qur'an 
- say, 'Khaybar was apportioned to those who had (also) been present at 
al-Hudaybiyya. He divided it up into 18 parts. The army consisted of 1,500 men, 
including 300 cavalry. He alloted two shares to each man with a horse, and one 
share to each man on foot."' 

Abu Da'ud is alone in giving this hadith. 

Malik stated, from al-Zuhri, that Sa c id b. al-Musayyab informed him that the 
Prophet (SAAS) conquered part of Khaybar by force. 

Abu Da'Qd also related this. He then stated, "The following was recited 
to al-Harith b. Miskin while I was present, 'Ibn Wahb informed you all (as 
follows), "Malik b. Anas related to me, from Ibn Shihab, that part of Khaybar 
was taken by force and part by peace treaty. Most of al-Katlba was taken by force, 
and there was also a peace agreement about it. I asked Malik, 'What is al-Katiba?' 
He replied, 'It is land at Khaybar; it consists of 40,000 'adhq."'" Abu Da J ud 
stated, u al- c adhg" means 'date-palms'; it can also mean date fronds." 

Al-Bukhari, moreover, stated that Muhammad b. Bashshar related to him, 
quoting Haraml, quoting Shu'ba, quoting 'Amara, from ^Ikrima, from 'A'isha, 
who said, "When Khaybar was conquered, we said, 'Well, now we'll have our 
fill of dates!' 

(Al-Bukhari went on) "Al-Hasan related to us, quoting Qurra b. Hablb, 
quoting ( Abd al-Rahman b. <Abd Allah b. Dinar, from his father, from Ibn c Umar, 
who said, 'We never had our fill' — meaning of dates — 'until we conquered 
Khaybar.'" 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "Al-Shiqq and al-Natat were part of the share 
of the Muslims. Al-Shiqq consisted of 13 shares, al-Natat of 5. The total 
was divided into 1,800 shares. This was paid to those who were present at 
al-Hudaybiyya, both those present at Khaybar and those absent from it. And of 
those who were present at al-Hudaybiyya only Jabir b. <Abd Allah was absent 
from Khaybar; he was awarded his share. 

"Those present at al-Hudaybiyya consisted of 1,400 men. With them were 
200 horses; 2 shares went to each horse. To each 100 men went a portion 
consisting of 18 shares. Four hundred shares went to the 200 horsemen; this was 
for their horses." 

Al-BayhaqI related similarly through Sufyan b. ^yayna, from Yahya b. Sa c ld, 
from Salih b. Kaysan - namely that they consisted of 1,400 men, with whom 
there were 200 horses. 

I note: the Messenger of God (SAAS) used an arrow to select the order of the 
award of shares. The first share of the allotment of al-Shiqq went to c Asim b. c Adi. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Katlba was a fifth portion assigned to God Almighty; of 
it a portion went to the Prophet (SAAS), another to (impoverished) relations, 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA <IL IBN KATHIR 27 S 

orphans, the destitute and wayfarers, another to feed the wives of the Prophet 
(SAAS), another to feed the families of those who went out to arrange the peace 
treaty with the people of Fadak. 71 These included Muhayyisa b. Mas^d, to whom 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) allotted 30 bags of dates and 30 bags of barley. 
Its (Fadak's) two valleys that were set aside for him were named Wadl al-Surlr, 
and Wadl Khas." 

Ibn Ishaq went on to give the details of all the allotments made at Khaybar; he 
did so fully and very well, may God have mercy on him. 

The men placed in charge of the division and the accounting were Jabbar b. 
Sakhr b. Umayya b. Khansa 3 , brother of Banu Salama, and Zayd b. Thabit, may 
God be pleased with them both. 

The commander who had authority over valuation of the date-palms of 
Khaybar was c Abd Allah b. Rawaha. He did this for two years. Following his 
death, may God be pleased with him, at the battle of M^ta, Jabbar b. Sakhr, may 
God be pleased with him, took over his work. 

Al-Bukharl stated that Isma c ll related to him, quoting Malik, from c Abd 
al-Majld b. Suhayl, from Sa<id b. al-Musayyab, from Abu Sa c ld al-Khudarl and 
Abu Hurayra, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) placed a man in command of 
Khaybar who brought him some dates that werejanib, "of very high quality". 
The Messenger of God (SAAS) asked him, "Are all the dates of Khaybar like 
this?" He replied, "No, I swear by God, Messenger of God! We take a 5« c weight 
of this (dates of high quality) for two sa c or three sa c (of lesser quality)." He told 
him, "No, don't do that. Sell the lesser quality dates for cash and then with that 
cash buy the jamb dates." 

Al-Bukhari stated that al-Darawardl said, quoting c Abd al-Majld, from 
Sa'id b. al-Musayyab, that Abu Sa c ld and Abtl Hurayra both related that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) sent a brother of Banu <Adi of the ansar to Khaybar 
and appointed him in charge of it. And the same is related on a different line 
of transmission from c Abd al-Majld, from Abu Salih al-Saman, from Abu Sa c id 
and Abu Hurayra. 

I note as follows. The properties of Khaybar gained by the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and the Muslims and all of Fadak, constituted a large part of the 
territory of Khaybar. They (the Jewish inhabitants) had emerged and made 
peace with the Messenger of God (SAAS) because of their great fear of him. To 
all this were added the acquisitions mentioned above from Banu al-Nadir where 
the Muslims similarly had no need to use force. 

These were the personal property of the Messenger of God (SAAS). From 
them he would subtract the yearly expenses of his family and then treat the 
remainder as belonging to God. He would use it to pay for the mounts, weapons 

71. According to Ibn Ishaq, when the inhabitants of Fadak heard of the conquest of Khaybar, 
they sent emissaries to the Prophet (SAAS), offering a treaty of peace under which they would 
remain there and keep half their produce. 



276 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

and other needs of the Muslims. When he died, Fatima and his wives — or most 
of them - believed that these properties would be inherited from him. They had 
not been informed of a statement that has been established to have been made 
by the Messenger of God (SAAS) as follows, "We prophets do not leave 
inheritance; what we leave becomes sadaqa, a public charity." 

When Fatima and the wives of the Prophet (SAAS), along with al-'Abbas, 
sought their share of this and asked (Abu Bakr), the Trusting, to pay it to them, 
he related to them what the Messenger of God (SAAS) had said, namely, "We 
do not leave inheritance; what we leave becomes a sadaqa." He told them, "I will 
provide for those whom the Messenger of God (SAAS) cared for; I swear by 
God, the relatives of the Messenger of God (SAAS) are dearer to me than 
my own." 

He spoke the truth, may God be pleased with him and give him pleasure! 
In that he was faithful, well-guided and adhering to the truth. 

Al- c Abbas requested, as did 'All on behalf of Fatima, since they had failed 
to receive an inheritance, that they should have access to that charitable fund and 
use it for those expenses that the Prophet (SAAS) used to meet. But Abu Bakr 
refused that, considering it his duty to proceed as the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
had done, and not to deviate from his path and practices. 

Fatima, may God be pleased with her, was annoyed with him about this 
and experienced some anger. Yet this was not appropriate for her. She and all 
the Muslims well knew his position and standing with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and his role in assisting him both during his life and after his death. May 
God reward him well, on behalf of his prophet, Islam and his people. 

Fatima, may God be pleased with her, died six months thereafter. 'All then 
renewed his oath of allegiance. During the Caliphate of TJmar b. al-Khattab, 
they asked him to give control of this sadaqa to 'All and al-'Abbas. They 
pressured him through a group of the Companions. And IJmar, may God be 
pleased with him, agreed to this. He did so because of the multiplicity of his 
duties, the extensiveness of his domain and the great spread of his subjects. 

'All gained advantage over his uncle al- c Abbas in this matter. Then they 
accompanied each other and quarrelled in front of IJmar. And they brought 
along a group of the Companions to him and asked him to divide up the 
assets between them in such a way that each would be independent of the other. 
But "Ulnar resisted this strongly, fearing that such a division would be similar 
to the division through inheritance. He said, "Look after it together. And if 
you can't, then turn it over to me. By Him at whose command the heavens 
and earth stand, I'll never reach any other decision about this!" The property 
continued to be managed in this way, by their descendants, into the 'Abbaside 
era, the expenditures continuing to be made as they had been by the Messenger 
of God (SAAS). (This is what became of) the assets of Banu al-Nadir, from 
Fadak and the share of the Messenger of God (SAAS), from Khaybar. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 277 



Division. 



The slaves and the women who were there at Khaybar were awarded portions 
of the booty, but no actual shares in the assets gained. 

Abu Da 5 ud stated that Ahmad b. Hanbal related to him, quoting Bishr b. 
aKMufaddal, from Muhammad b. Zayd, (who said), "'Umayr, freed-man of Abu 
al-Lahm, said, 'I was present at Khaybar with my masters. They talked about me 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he ordered that I be awarded a sword. I 
was just about to draw it when he was informed that I was a mamluk, a slave. He 
then ordered I be given something (suitable) I would enjoy.'" 

Both al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa'I related this, from Qutayba, from Bishr b. 
al-Mufaddal. Al-Tirmidhi stated, "It is hasan sahik, 'good and authentic'." Ibn 
Maja related it from c AIi b. Muhammad, from Waki c , from Hisham b. Sa'd, from 
Muhammad b. Zayd b. al-Muhajir, from Munqidh, from c Umayr. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "There were women who were present at Khaybar 
with the Messenger of God (SAAS). He awarded them part of the booty, but he 
did not allot them shares. 

"Sulayman b. Suhaym related to me, from Umayya, daughter of Abu al~Salt, 
from a woman of Band Ghifar, whose name was given me. She said, 'I went to 
the Messenger of God (SAAS), along with some women of Banu Ghifar. We 
asked him, "Messenger of God, we would like to go forth with you," - he was 
then on his way to Khaybar - "to take care of the wounded and give whatever 
help we can to the Muslims." He replied, "May God bless you." ' 

"She went on, 'So we left with him. I was a young girl then and the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) placed me on his mount behind himself, on a bag of provisions. 
When he dismounted to perform the al-subh prayer, I got down from the bag. 
On it I saw blood of mine; this was my first period. I hurried back to the camel, 
feeling embarrassed. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw I was upset 
and noticed the blood, he asked, "What is wrong? You probably menstruated." 
"Yes," I answered. He then said, "Cleanse yourself and then take a vessel of 
water, put some salt in it and use it to wash the blood off the bag. Then go back 
to your seat."' 

"She went on, 'When God conquered Khaybar, he awarded us some of the 
booty. He took this necklace you see around my neck and gave it to me, himself 
putting it on me. By God, I will never be parted from it.' It was around her neck 
until she died and she left instructions that it be buried with her. 

"She never cleansed herself after her menstruation without putting salt in 
the water. And she left instructions that it be put in the water to be used to wash 
her when she died." 

Imam Ahmad and Abu Da'ud related this similarly, from the hadith of 
Muhammad b. Ishaq. 

Our teacher, Sheikh Abu al-Hajjaj al-Mizzi stated in his notes, "Al-Waqidl 
related it from Abtl Bakr b. Abu Sabra, from Sulayman b. Suhaym, from Umm 



278 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

^All, daughter of Abu al-Hakam, from Umayya, daughter of Abu al-Salt, from 
the Prophet (SAAS)." 

Imam Ahmad stated that Hasan b. Musa related to us, quoting Rafi c b. Salama 
al-Ashjal (who said), "Hashraj b. Ziyad related to me, from his grandmother, his 
father's mother, who said, 'We went forth with the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
on the expedition to Khaybar, I being the youngest of six women. When news 
reached the Prophet (SAAS) that there were women accompanying him, he 
summoned us. We could see from his face that he was angry. He asked us, "Why 
have you come, and who gave you permission?" We replied, "We have come 
to hand out the arrows and to pour the sawiq; 11 we have with us medication for 
wounds and we can spin hair and use it for God's cause." "You may proceed," 
he told us.' 

"She went on, 'When God conquered Khaybar for him, he drew arrows 
(to determine shares) for us, just as he did for the men.' I then asked her, 
'Grandmother, what was allotted to you then?' 'Dates,' she replied." 

I comment that all he gave them was the produce. He certainly did not give 
to them shares in the land, as he did to the men. But God knows best. 

The hafiz al~Bayhaqr stated, "In my book, (it states) from the hafiz Abu 
c Abd Allah, that ( Abd Allah al-Isbahani informed him, as follows, 'Al-Husayn b. 
al-Jahm related to us, quoting al-Husayn b. al~Faraj, quoting al-Waqidl, (who 
said) " c Abd al-Salam b. Musa b. Jubayr, from his father, from his grandfather, 
from c Abd Allah b. Anls, who said, 'I went forth with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) to Khaybar, and my wife, who was pregnant, accompanied me. On the 
way she had a discharge of blood. I reported this to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and he told me, "Soak some dates for her and when it all turns liquid, 
tell her to drink it." She did so and saw nothing to alarm her. When we had 
conquered Khaybar, he gave to the women, but did not allot them shares. He 
gave both to my wife and to my child who was born.""" c Abd al-Salam added, 
"I don't know whether it was a boy or a girl." 



An Account of the arrival to the Messenger of God (SAAS), while 

he mas encamped at Khaybar, ofjfdfar b. Abu Talib, may God be 

pleased with him, and those who had remained in Abyssinia. 

These were Muslims who had emigrated there, along with those from the 
people of Yemen who had joined them. 

Al-Bukh&rl stated that it was related to him by Muhammad b. aMAla 5 , 
quoting Abu Usama, quoting Burayd b. c Abd Allah b. Abu Burda, from Abu 
Burda, from Abu Musa, who said, "We learned of the departure of the Prophet 
(SAAS) while we were in Yemen and so we left as muhajirin to join him. I was 
accompanied by my brothers, myself being the youngest. One was called Abu 

72. A drink made of wheat or barley. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 279 

Butda, the other Abu Ruhm. We were among a number" (or the narrator may 
have given the figure 53, or 52) "of men of my people. 

"We rode aboard a boat that took us to the Negus in Abyssinia. There we met 
up with Ja c far b. Abu Talib, with whom we stayed before all coming on together. 
We arrived at the Prophet (SAAS) after he had conquered Khaybar. Some 
people there said to us — meaning those who had travelled by boat - 'We joined 
in the hijra before you did!' 

"Asrna , daughter of HJmays - she having come with us, went in to visit Hafsa, 
the wife of the Prophet (SAAS), she, Asma*, having been one of those who had 
emigrated to the Negus. 'Umar then came in to Hafsa while Asrna 1 was with 
her and when he saw the latter, he asked, 'And who is this?' 'Asma', daughter 
of 'Umays,' she replied. HJmar then said, 'Is this the "Abyssinian" and the 
"sailor"?' 'Yes,' Asma 1 replied. He then commented, 'Well, we emigrated before 
you did. And so we have now more right to the Messenger of God (SAAS) than 
you do!' She became angry and replied, 'That's not so, by God! A1J the time you 
were with the Messenger of God (SAAS) he was feeding your hungry and 
instructing your ignorant, while we were in the dar, the domain, of the bu^ada* 
and the bugkadep 73 in Abyssinia! And we were there serving God and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). I swear by God, I'll not eat nor drink again before 
I tell the Prophet (SAAS) what you said, and I'll ask him. And I'll not lie or 
distort or add anything to it!'" 

"When the Prophet (SAAS) arrived, she said to him, 'Prophet of God, 
c Umar said so-and-such' 'And what did you reply?' he enquired. 'I replied 
so-and-such,' she told him. He then said, 'No one has greater right to me than 
you do. He and his associates had one hijra, but you boat people had two!' 

"She later said, 'I then saw Abu Musa and the boat people stream in to me, 
asking about this conversation. And nothing in the world could have more pleased 
and impressed them than what the Prophet (SAAS) had said about them.' 

"Abu Burda narrated, 'Asma 3 commented, "When I saw Abu Musa, he asked 
me to repeat this hadith."'' 

"Abu Burda said, quoting Abu Musa, 'The Prophet (SAAS) said, "I well know 
the voices of the l ash c ari people', the reciters of the Qur^an, when they go home 
at night. And I know their houses from their voices merely reciting the Qui°an at 
night, even without seeing their dwellings during the day. One of them is Hakim 
b. Hizam, who, when he meets the enemy" - or he could have said, "cavalry" - 
"would say to them (the enemy), 'My companions order you to wait for them.""" 

Muslim related this similarly from Abu Kurayb and c Abd Allah b. Barrad, 
from Abu Usama. 

Then al-Bukharl stated that Ishaq b, Ibrahim related to him, quoting Hafs 
b. Ghiyath, quoting Burayd (b. c Abd Allah) from Abu Burda, from Abu Musa, 
who said, "We came to the Prophet (SAAS) after Khaybar had been conquered. 

73. That is, "those who are far away" and "those who are hateful". Obviously, the Arabic words 
have similar patterns and sound almost similar. 



280 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

He did give us a share (of the booty), though he gave none to anyone who had 
not been present at the victory except for us." 

Al-Bukhari is alone in giving this; Muslim did not. Abu Da'ud and al-Tirmidhi 
did relate it, authenticating it from a hadith of Burayd. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated that the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent c Amr b. 
Umayya al-Damri to the Negus to request him for those of his Companions 
who had remained in Abyssinia. They arrived in the company of Jacfar, after the 
Prophet (SAAS) had conquered Khaybar. 

He went on, "Sufyan b. c Uyayna related, from al-Ajlah, from al-Sha^bi, that 
Ja'far b. Abu Talib came to the Messenger of God (SAAS) on the day when 
he conquered Khaybar. The Messenger of God (SAAS) kissed him between 
his eyes and hugged him," saying, 'I don't know which makes me happier - the 
conquest of Khaybar, or the arrival of Ja c far!'" 

Sufyan al-Thawri related it thus from al-Ajlah, from al-Sha^i, only as mursal, 
with an incomplete chain of transmission. 

Al-Bayhaqi recorded a line of transmission through Hasan b. Husayn 
al- ( Arzaml, from al-Ajlah, from al-Sha^I, from Jabir, who said, "When the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) came back from Khaybar, Ja c far arrived from 
Abyssinia. The Messenger of God (SAAS) kissed him on the forehead when he 
met him, saying, 'By God, I don't know what makes me happier - the conquest 
of Khaybar or the arrival of Jafar!'" 

Al-Bayhaqi then stated, "The hafiz, Abu c Abd Allah related to us, quoting 
al-Husayn b. Abu Ismail al- c Alawi, quoting Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Bayruti, 
quoting Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abu Tayba (who said), 'Makkl b. Ibrahim 
al-Ru'ayni related to me, quoting Sufyan al-Thawri, from Abu al-Zubayr, from 
Jabir, who said, "When Ja c far b. Abu Talib arrived from Abyssinia, he was met 
by the Messenger of God (SAAS). When Ja'far saw him, he hajala, he hopped 
on one leg, to show his respect for the Messenger of God (SAAS). The latter 
then kissed him between his eyes,"'" 

Al-Bayhaqi then commented, "In the chain of authorities back to al-Thawri 
there are persons not known." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Those Meccans who remained behind with Ja c far until they 
joined him at Khaybar were 16 men." 

Ibn Ishaq then listed their names and those of their wives. They were: "Jacfar 
b. Abu Talib al-Hashimi and his wife Asma>, daughter of IJmays, and his son 
c Abd Allah, who was born in Abyssinia, Khalid b. Sa^d b. al- c As b. Umayya b. 
c Abd Shams and his wife Amina, daughter of Khalaf b. As'ad, and his children, 
Sa'id and c Amma, both born in Abyssinia, his brother c Amr b. Sa c id b. al- c As and 
Mu'ayqib b. Abu Fatima, a member of the Sa^id b. al- c As family. 

"Then there were Abu Musa al-Ash c ari <Abd Allah b. Qays, ally of 'TJtba b. 
Rabi'a, Aswad b. Nawfal b. Khuwaylid b. Asad al-Asadl, Jahm b. Qays b. c Abd 
Shurahbil al c Abdari, whose wife, Umm Harmafa, daughter of c Abd al-Aswad, 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 28 1 

had died in Abyssinia; his son 'Amr and daughter Khuzayma died along with 
her, may God have mercy on them all. Then there were c Amir b. Abu Waqqas 
al-Zuhri, <Utba b. Mas c ud, an ally of theirs from Hudhayl, al-Harith b. Khalid 
b. Sakhr al-Taymi, whose wife Rayta, daughter of al-Harith, had died there, may 
God have mercy upon her, c Uthman b. Rabl<a b. Ahban al-Jumahi, Muhmiyya 
b. juz 5 al-Zabldl, ally of Banu Sahm, Ma c mar b. c Abd Allah b. Nadla al- c AdawI, 
Abu Hatib b. c Amr b. c Abd Shams, Malik b. Rabi^ b. Qays b. c Abd Shams, both 
from Banu "Amir. Along with this Malik was his wife c Amra, daughter of al-Sa^di. 
Then there was al-Harith b. "Abd Shams b. Laqlt al-Fihn." 

Ibn Ishaq did not mention those others of Banu Ash'ar who were with Abu Musa 
and his two brothers Abu Burda and Abu Ruhm, and his paternal uncle Abu c Amir; 
in fact of the Ash^ he referred only to Abu Musa, not even venturing to mention 
his two brothers, who were older than him, as is stated in the sakih of al-Bukhari. 

It is as though Ibn Ishaq, may God have mercy upon him, had not seen the 
hadlth of Abu Musa regarding this. But God knows best. 

He went on, "In the two boats with them there were also women who had been 
the wives of the Muslims who had died in Abyssinia. What he did record here 
was substantial and good. 

Al-Bukhari stated that c All b. c Abd Allah related to him, quoting Sufyan (who 
said), "I heard al-Zuhri say, when Ismail b. Umayya asked him a question, 
'•Anbasa b. Sa'ld informed me that Abu Hurayra came to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and made a request of him - that is, he asked him for a share in the 
booty. At this a man from Banu Sa c ld b. al- c As said, "No, don't give it to him." 
Abu Hurayra commented (to the Prophet (SAAS)), "This is the murderer of Ihn 
Qawqal." The man replied: "That's a strange comment to come from a weasel 
who has come down from Qadum al-Pa'n!'"" 74 

Al-Bukhari alone gives this hadlth; Muslim does not. 

Al-Bukhari went on to state that it was related from al-Zubaydi that al-Zuhri 
said, " c Anbasa b. Said informed me that he heard Abu Hurayra informing Said 
b. al- c As as follows: 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent Aban (b. Sa'id) on an 
expedition from Medina towards Najd.' 

"Abu Hurayra stated, 'And Aban and his companions came to the Prophet 
(SAAS) at Khaybar after he had conquered it; the girdles of their horses were 
made of palm-fibre rope.' 

"Abu Hurayra said, 'So I said to the Messenger of God (SAAS), "Messenger 
of God, don't give them a share!" Aban exclaimed, "You're just a weasel that's 
come down from atop a dd>l™ a lotus tree!" At this the Prophet (SAAS) said, 
"Aban, sit down!" And he did not give them a share.'" 

74. Qadum al-Pa'n is the name of a mountain in the territory of Banu Daws, Abu Hurayra's 
tribe. . 

75: It will be noticed that in this fyadith the word for the name of the mountain has been changed 
to a word meaning a lotus tree. 



282 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Abu Da'ud gave a line of transmission for this hadith from Sa c ld b. MansGr, 
from Isma'll b. 'Ayyash, from Muhammad b. ai-Walld al-Zubaydi with similar 
wording. 

Al-Bukhari stated that Musa b. Isma c il related to him, quoting c Amr b. Yahya 
b. Sa'id (who said), "My grandfather, Sa c id b. ( Amr b. Sa c id b. al- c As informed 
me that Aban b. Sa'id came to the Prophet (SAAS) and greeted him. Abu 
Hurayra then said, 'Messenger of God, this is the murderer of Ibn Qawqal!' 
Aban retorted to Abu Hurayra, 'How strange! For you, a weasel coming down 
from Qadum Da^ to complain about me for the death of a man whom God 
honoured with martyrdom at my hand, a man whom God prevented from 
overcoming me!'" 

He is alone in giving this hadith in this position. In his section on al-jikad, 
warfare, after the hadith of al-Humaydl, from Sufyan, from al-Zuhri, from 
c Anbasa b. Sa^d, from Abu Hurayra, he said, "I came to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) while he was at Khaybar, after having conquered it. I said to him, 
'Messenger of God, grant me a share!' Some of the family of Sa c ld b. al- ( As 
said, 'Don't give him a share!' I then said, 'Messenger of God, this fellow is the 
murderer of Ibn Qawqal!'" From this point, the hadith is the same as above. 

Sufyan stated, "Al-Sa<idi (by whom he meant c Amr b. Yahya b. Sa c id) related 
it to me, from his grandfather, from Abu Hurayra." 

In this hadith there is the statement of Abu Hurayra that he was not present 
at Khaybar, as was asserted in the prior accounts of this engagement. Imam 
Ahmad related this through <Arak b. Malik, from Abu Hurayra and that he 
arrived to the Messenger of God (SAAS) after he had conquered Khaybar and 
stated, "He addressed the Muslims and they gave us a part of their shares." 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Rawh related to us, quoting Hammad b. Salama, from 
c Ali b. Zayd, from c Ammar b. Abu c Ammar, who said, 'I was never present with 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) at any distribution of booty without him giving 
me a share, except at Khaybar; it was specifically for those who had been present 
at al-Hudaybiyya."' 

I note that Abu Hurayra and Abu Musa both arrived between al-Hudaybiyya 
and Khaybar. 

Al-Bukhari stated, "<Abd Allah b. Muhammad related to us, quoting 
Mu'awiya b. ( Amr, quoting Abu Ishaq, from Malik b. Anas (who said), 'Thawr 
related to me, quoting Salim, the freed-man of 'Abd Allah b. Mud*, who said 
that he heard Abu Hurayra say, "When we conquered Khaybar, we did not 
gain any booty of gold or silver. We did take camels, cattle, personal possessions 
and properties. We then departed with the Messenger of God (SAAS) for Wadi 
al-Qura. With him was a slave of his called Mid c am, who had been presented 
to him by some of Banu af-Dablb. While he was mounting the saddle of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), a stray arrow came in and struck him. People 
then said, 'Lucky for him; paradise!' But the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
said, 'Definitely not; by Him in Whose hands is my soul, the cloak he took at 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 283 

Khaybar that the divider of the booty never received will light the fires (of hell) 
for him!' 

"'"A man then approached, after having heard that from the Messenger of 
God (SAAS), carrying one or two sandal straps and said, 'This is something I 
captured.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) commented, 'A sandal strap or two 
ofhellfire!""" 



An Account of the poisoned sheep and the clear proof 
and evidence therein. 

Al-Bukhari stated that ^rwa narrated this from c A J isha, from the Prophet 
(SAAS). He then stated, " c Abd Allah b. Yusuf related to us, quoting al-Layth 
(who said), Sa c ld related to me, from Abu Hurayra, who said, 'When Khaybar was 
conquered for the Messenger of God (SAAS), a poisoned sheep was presented 
to him."' 

Thus he gave it here in abbreviated form. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Hajjaj related to us, quoting Layth, from Sa'ld b. Abu 
Sa'id, from Abu Hurayra, who said, 'When Khaybar was conquered, a poisoned 
sheep was presented to the Prophet (SAAS). The latter then ordered, "Assemble 
for me the Jews who were here." They were brought and the Prophet (SAAS) 
asked them, "I am about to ask you something. Will you respond truthfully about 
it?" "Yes, we will, Abu Qasim," they replied. 

"'He then asked them, "Who is your father?" They replied, "Our father is 
so-and-so." He then said, "You lie; your father is so-and-so!" They responded, 
"You correctly speak the truth." He then asked, "Are you truthful about 
something if you are asked about it?" They replied, "Yes, Abu Qasim! If we were 
to lie, you would know of it just as you did about our father." He then asked, 
"Who are those in hell?" They replied, "We will be there for a short while, then 
you will remain there after us." He responded, "By God, we'll never be there 
after you." He then asked them, "Will you be truthful about something if I 
ask you?" "Yes indeed, Abu al-Qasim," they replied. He went on, "Did you 
put poison in this sheep?" "Yes," they replied. "What made you do that?" he 
asked. "We wanted to be rid of you if you were a liar; and if you were a prophet, 
it would not have harmed you."'" 

Al-Bukhari related this in his section on al-jizya, the poll-tax on non-Muslims, 
from c Abd Allah b. Yusuf. He also gave it in the section on al-maghazi, the 
military expeditions, from Qutayba, both of these quoting al-Layth. Al-Bayhaqi 
stated, "The hafiz Abu c Abd Allah informed us, quoting Abu al- c Abbas 
al-Asamm, quoting Sa c ld b. Sulayman, quoting c Abbad b. al- c Awwam, from 
Sufyan b. Husayn, from al-Zuhri, from Sa ( ld b. al-Musayyab, and Abu Salama 
b. c Abd al-Rahman, from Abu Hurayra, that a Jewish woman presented a 
poisoned sheep to the Messenger of God (SAAS). He told his Companions, 



284 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'Stop! It is poisoned!' He then asked her, 'What made you do this?' She replied, 
'I wanted to find out if you are a prophet. Because if so, God would make you 
aware of it. And if you were an impostor, I'd be ridding people of you.'" The 
narrator concluded, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) did not detain her." 

Abu Da'ad related this from Harun b. c Abd Allah, from Sa c ld b. Sulayman. 

Al-Bayhaqi related it similarly through c Abd Al-Malik b. Abu Nadra, from 
his father, from Jabir b. <Abd Allah. 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Shurayh related to us, quoting c Abbad, from Hilal - he 
being Ibn Khabbab - from 'Ikrima, from Ibn c Abbas (who said) that a Jewish 
woman presented a poisoned sheep to the Messenger of God (SAAS). He sent 
for her and asked, 'What made you do that?' 'Ahbabtu, I wished' - 'or aradtu, I 
wanted' - '(to establish) that if you were a prophet, then God would make you 
aware of it. And if you were not a prophet, people would be rid of you.'" 

The narrator continued, "Whenever he experienced pain because of that 
(poison) he would have blood drawn. He went on, 'He made a trip on one 
occasion and when he had performed the pilgrimage, he experienced pain and 
had blood drawn.'" 

Ahmad alone gives this hadtth and its chain of transmission is good. 

In both sahlh collections, from a hadtth of Shu'ba, from Hisham b. Zayd, from 
Anas b. Malik (it states) that a Jewish woman brought to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) a poisoned sheep and that he ate from it. She was then taken to the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), who asked her about this, and she replied, "I wanted 
to kill you!" He then commented, "God would never have given you power over 
me." (Or he may have said, "power over that".) People asked him, "Aren't you 
going to kill her?" "No," he replied. 

Anas stated, "I continued thereafter to recognize its effects on the palate of 
the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

Abu Da'tid stated that Sulayman b. Da'ud al-Mahri related to him, quoting 
Ibn Wahb (who said), "Yunus informed me, from Ibn Shihab, who said, 'Jabir 
b. c Abd Allah used to relate that a Jewish woman of Khaybar poisoned a roasted 
sheep then presented it to the Messenger of God (SAAS), who took a shoulder 
and ate from it. A number of his Companions ate along with him. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) then told them, 'Take your hands away!' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then sent for the woman and asked her, 
'Did you poison this sheep?' The Jewess replied, 'Who told you?' 'This in my 
hand told me,' he answered, referring to the shoulder of meat. She then said, 
'Yes, I did.' He asked, 'What did you intend by that?' She replied, 'I told myself 
that if you were a prophet, it would not harm you. And if you were not a prophet, 
we would be rid of you.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then forgave her and did not punish her. 
Some of his Companions who had eaten of the sheep did die. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had blood drawn from his upper back because of his having eaten 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 285 

from the sheep. Abu Hind, an ansari of Banu Bayada, drew the blood with the 
point and blade of a sword." 

Abu Da'ud then stated that Wahb b. Baqiyya related to him, quoting Khalid, 
from Muhammad b. { Amr, from Abu Salama (who said) that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) was presented by a Jewess at Khaybar with a roast lamb. The 
hadith proceeds as did the above from Jabir. It goes on, "Bishr b. al-Bara' b. 
Ma c rur died and so the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent for the Jewess and asked 
her, 'What made you do this?'" The hadith goes on to recount much the same 
as did that of Jabir, but states that he then ordered her execution. This account 
does not refer to the matter of drawing blood. 

AI-Bayhaql stated, "We related this from a hadith of Hammad b. Salama, from 
Muhammad b. c Amr, from Abu Salama, from Abu Hurayra." 

He went on, "It is probable that he did not execute her initially, but did so 
when Bishr b. al-Bara 5 died." 

AI-Bayhaql narrated from a hadith of c Abd al-Razzaq, from Ma c mar, from 
al-Zuhri, from <Abd al-Rahman b. Ka<b b. Malik, that a Jewess presented a 
roast sheep to the Messenger of God (SAAS) at Khaybar. He asked her, "What's 
this?" "A gift," she replied. She was careful not to say a sadaqa, a charitable 
donation, for he would not then have eaten it. 

(The account went on) "He ate from it, as did his Companions. But then he 
told them, 'Stop!' He asked the woman, 'Did you put poison in it?' 'Who told 
you that?' she asked. 'This bone did,' he replied, referring to a leg of it he had in 
his hand. 'Yes, I did,' she told him. 'Why?' he asked. 'What I wanted was that if 
you were an impostor, we would be rid of you. And if you were a pfbphetpit 
would not harm you.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) had blood drawn from his 
upper back and ordered his Companions to do the same. Some of them died." 

Al-Zuhri stated, "She then accepted Islam and the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
left her alone." 

Al-Bayhaqi stated, "This hadith is mursal. Perhaps c Abd al-Rahman conveyed 
it from Jabir b. c Abd Allah, may God be pleased with him." 

Ibn Lahi^a reported from Abu al-Aswad, from 'Urwa, as did Musa b. ^qba, 
from al-Zuhrl, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) conquered Khaybar, 
killing some of its inhabitants, the Jewess Zaynab, daughter of al-Harith, who 
was the niece of Marhab, presented to Safiyya some roast mutton that she had 
poisoned. She included plenty of shoulder and leg because she had learned that 
these were the parts of a sheep most liked by the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) came in to Safiyya accompanied by Bishr b. 
al-BarS 3 b. MaVtir, of Banu Salama. She offered him the roast mutton and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) took some shoulder and bit from it. Bishr took a 
bone and bit from it. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) swallowed his 
morsel, Bishr b. al-Bara 5 swallowed what was in his mouth. The Messenger of 



286 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

God (SAAS) then said, 'Take away your hands! The shoulder of this sheep tells 
me that my death will be announced because of it!' Bishr b. al-Bara 3 then said, 
'By Him who honoured you, I found that too in the piece I ate! The only thing 
that prevented me from voicing it was that I respected you too much to want to 
make you dislike your food! And when you swallowed what you had in your 
mouth, I could not allow myself to protect my life to the exclusion of you. I had 
hoped you would not have swallowed it, for in it is my death too.' And before 
Bishr could get up, his colour turned ashen and his pains were such that he could 
not move before he died." 

Al-Zuhn quoted Jabir as saying, "That day the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
had blood drawn. It was a freed-man of Banu Bayada who drew it using a sword 
point and blade. The Messenger of God (SAAS) lived on for three more years 
until he suffered the pain from which he died. He said, 'I have continued to have 
pains often because of that piece of mutton I ate at Khaybar right on up to now, 
when my aorta is splitting. "* 

"And so the Messenger of God (SAAS) died a martyr." 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) felt 
secure, Zaynab, daughter of al-Harith, wife of Sallam b. Mishkam, presented 
him with a roasted sheep; She had enquired what part of that meat the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) preferred, and had been told that it was the shoulder. She put 
a great deal of poison in the shoulder, as well as in the rest of the sheep, and 
brought it to him. When she placed it before him, he took the shoulder section 
and bit from it but did not swallow it. With him was Bishr b. al-Bara 5 b. Ma ( rur. 
He had taken some of it just as had the Messenger of God (SAAS) had done, but 
Bishr had swallowed his. The Messenger of God (SAAS) spat it out and said, 
'This bone tells me it is poisoned!' 

"He then summoned her and she confessed. He asked her, 'What brought you 
to do this?' She replied, 'You well know what you did to my people! So I told 
myself, "If he is an impostor, I'll be rid of him. And if he is a prophet, he will be 
told of it."' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) let her go, but Bishr died of the piece he 
had eaten." 

Ibn Ishaq went on, "Marwan b. t Uthman b. Abu Sa c ld b. al-Mu'alli related to 
me as follows, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) said during that illness from 
which he died, when the sister of Bishr b. al-Bara 5 b. Mato went in to see him, 
"Umm Bishr, now is the rime when my abhur, my aorta, is severing from that 
piece of food I ate in the company of your brother, at Khaybar."'" 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The abhur is the artery attached to the heart." 

Ibn Ishaq continued, "Muslims consider that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
died a martyr as well as having been honoured by God with prophethood." 



76. That is, "when my death is imminent". 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 287 

The hafiz Abu Bakr al-Bazzar stated, "Hilal b. Bishr and Sulayman b. Yusuf 
al-Harrani related to us as follows: 'Abu Ghiyath b. Hamad related to us, quoting 
c Abd al-Malik b. Abu Nadra, from his father, from Abu Sa'ld al-Khudarl, that a 
Jewess presented a roasted sheep to the Messenger of God (SAAS). When people 
put out their hands (to eat it) he called out, "Stop! One of its limbs is telling me 
that it is poisoned!" He summoned the woman and asked her, "Did you poison 
your food?" "Yes," she replied. "Why did you do that?" he asked her. She replied, 
"If you were an impostor, I would be ridding the people of you; and if you were 
truthful, then God would tell you of it." 

'"He then stretched forth his hand, saying, "Eat, bismi Allahi, 'in the name 
of God'."'" 

The narrator continued, "So we did eat, invoking God's name, and it did not 
harm any one of us." 

The hafiz al-Bazzar then added, "This is only related from c Abd al-Malik b. 
Abu Nadra, on this one line of transmission." 

I note that there are very strange and offensive aspects to this hadith. But God 
knows best. 

Al-Waqidi stated that t Uyayna b. Hisn, before he accepted Islam, saw visions 
in his sleep while the Messenger of God (SAAS) was besieging Khaybar. These 
visions inspired in him a desire to battle against the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
and to conquer him. When he did go to the Messenger of God (SAAS), at Khaybar, 
he found he had already taken it. So *Uyayna said, "Muhammad, give me some 
of the booty you have taken from my allies" - meaning the people of Khaybar. 
But the Messenger of God (SAAS), told him, "Your visions lied!" And he then 
told IJyayna what he had seen in his dream, 

(The account went on) '"Uyayna then went home and was met by al-Harith 
b. < Awf, who said, 'Did I not say you were putting your loyalty in the wrong 
place? By God, Muhammad will triumph over all between East and West! Jews 
used to inform me of this. I swear, I heard Abu Rafi c Sallam b. Abu Huqayq 
say, "We envy Muhammad for the prophethood, since it has now left Aaron's 
people. He has been sent, though Jews will not obey me in this. We will suffer 
two massacres from him - one at Yathrib, the other at Khaybar."'" 

AI-Harith went on, "So I "asked Sallam, 'Will he govern the earth?' 'Yes,' 
he replied, 'he will, by the Torah that was revealed to Moses, but I don't want 
Jews to be told of what I said of him.'" 

Division. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When he had finished with Khaybar, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) left for Wadl al-Qura. He besieged its inhabitants for some days and 
then returned to Medina." 

He then went on to relate the story of Mid'am and how he was struck and killed 
by a stray arrow. (He told) how people then said, "Lucky for him: paradise!" The 



288 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Messenger of God (SAAS) had responded, "Definitely not; by Him in whose 
hands is my soul, the cloak he took at Khaybar that the distributor of the booty 
did not receive will light fires (of hell) for him!" 

It has been earlier related in similar form as in the account of Ibn Ishaq from 
the sahih collection of al-Bukharl. But God knows best. 

An account of his battle at Wadi al-Qura will follow. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Yahya b. Sa c ld related to him, from Muhammad b. 
Yahya b. Habban, from Abu fmra, from Zayd b. Khalid al-Juhanl, that one 
of the bravest of the Companions of the Messenger of God (SAAS) died at 
Khaybar. When this was related to the Prophet (SAAS) he said, "Pray for your 
comrade!" The faces of those present showed their surprise at his saying this and 
he went on, "Your comrade strayed from God's path." (The account states) "So 
we searched his belongings and discovered one of those Jewish shell necklaces 
not worth more than a couple of dirhams!" 

Abu Da?ud and al-Nasa'i related this similarly from a hadtth of Yahya b. Sa'ld 
al-Qattan. Abu Da'tid, Bishr b. al-Mufaddal and Ibn Maja also related it from a 
hadtth of al-Layth b. Sa<d, all three attributing it to Yahya b. Sa'id al-Ansari. 

Al-Bayhaql related that Banii Fazara wanted to do battle against the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) on his way back from Khaybar and assembled for this purpose. 
He then sent a messenger to them suggesting a specific site for the battle. Having 
ascertained this, they fled as fast as they could, moving far outside his path. 

The Messenger of God (SAAS) proceeded further and when Safiyya was free of 
her period he consummated his marriage with her at a place called Sudd al-Sahba', 
on his route to Medina. He served hays for a wedding feast and stayed there with 
her for three nights. She accepted Islam and he freed her and married her. He gave 
her freedom as her dowry. She was one of the ummahat al~mu > minln, 'mothers of 
the believers' as his Companions understood when he placed a veil over her 
when she rode behind him on the same mount. May God be pleased with her. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq related in his biography of the Prophet (SAAS) as 
follows, "When he married Safiyya at Khaybar - on the way back - the woman 
who combed her hair and prepared her for him was Umm Sulaym, daughter of 
Milhan, the mother of Anas b. Malik. The Messenger of God (SAAS) spent 
the night with her in a pavilion of his, while Abu Ayyub kept watch over him, 
wearing his sword, patrolling around the tent until morning. When the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) saw him there, he asked him, 'What is wrong, Abu Ayytlb?' He 
replied, 'I was afraid for you from this woman. She is a woman whose father, 
husband and people you have killed. And until recently she was a disbeliever. So 
I feared for you from her.' They say that the Messenger of God (SAAS) then 
said, 'O God, preserve Abu Ayyub, just as he spent the night watching over me.'" 

He went on, "Al-Zuhri related to me, from Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, how they 
had overslept past the morning prayer on their way back from Khaybar, He told 
how the Messenger of God (SAAS) was the first of them to wake up and that he 
then asked, 'What have you done to us, Bilal!' He replied, 'Messenger of God, 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 289 

He who took my soul was He who took yours too!' 'You speak the truth,' he 
agreed. He then rode his camel a little way off and dismounted, performed the 
ablution and the prayer as he had done previously." 

Malik related it similarly from al-Zuhrf, from Said, but mursal, incomplete 
in its line of transmission. And this too is mursal, from this line as given. 

Abu Da'ud stated that Ahmad b. Salih related to him, quoting Ibn Wahb 
(who said), "Yunus informed me, from Ibn Shihab, from Sa c ld b. al-Musayyab, 
from Abu Hurayra (who said), the Messenger of God (SAAS), having finished 
with Khaybar, travelled on by night until we reached al-Karl, and there he had 
his wedding. He told Bilal, 'Keep awake for us tonight.' But Bilal's eyes closed 
in sleep as he rested against his baggage and neither the Prophet (SAAS) nor he, 
nor any of the others woke up before the sun struck them. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) was the first to wake up. In alarm he called out Bilal's name. Bilal 
replied, 'By my father and mother, Messenger of God, He who took my soul 
away also took yours!' 

"They rode their camels off a little way and then the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) performed the ablution. He gave orders to Bilal who announced the 
prayer, and then he led the morning prayer for them. When he had finished 
it, he said, 'One who forgets a prayer should perform it when he remembers. 
For God Almighty says, "Perform the prayer for remembrance (of Me)'"" 
(suratTaHa;XX,v.H). 

Yunus stated, "Ibn Shihab used to recite it (the hadith) like that." 

Muslim related it the same from Harmala b. Yahya, from c Abd Allah b. Wahb. 
Therein is stated that this was on their return from Khaybar. 

In the hadith of Shu^a, from Jami c b. Shaddad, from c Abd al-Rahman b. 
Abu c Alqama, from Ibn Mas c ud, it is stated that occurred on their return from 
al-Hudaybiyya. In one report from him (it states) that it was Bilal who kept 
awake for them. And there is a report from him (Bilal) that it was he who used 
to keep awake for them. 

The kafiz al-Bayhaql stated, "It is likely that this happened twice." 

He went on, "And in a hadith of Imran b. Husayn and Abu Qatada (there is 
reference to) their sleeping through the prayer. Also in it is the reference to the 
water vessel. It is likely that this makes reference to one of the two occasions 
in question, or it might be a third." 

He went on, "Al-Waqidl related in a hadith of Abu Qatada that that happened on 
their way back from the expedition against Tabuk. He stated, 'Zafir b. Sulayman 
narrated, from Shu'ba, from Jami c b. Shaddad, from c Abd al-Rahman, from Ibn 
Mas < ud, that that occurred on their way back from Tabuk. But God knows best.' " 

Al-Bayhaql then proceeded to relate what the author of the sakih collection 
reported concerning the anecdote of c Awf al-A c rabl, from Abu Raja', from 
'Imran b. Husayn. It tells of their having slept through the prayer and that there 
was a woman who owned two water skins from which sufficient water was drawn 
to quench the entire army without diminishing the water in them. 



290 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

He then recounted what Muslim related from the hadith of Thabit al-Bunanl, 
from <Abd Allah b. Ribah, from Abu Qatada. It is a long hadith and tells of their 
sleeping through the prayer and of the great quantity of water taken from that 
water vessel. c Abd al-Razzaq related this from Ma c mar, from Qatada. 

AI-Bukhari stated that Musa b. Ismail related to him, quoting c Abd al- Wahid, 
from c Asim , from Abu njthman, from Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, about the expedition 
of the Messenger of God (SAAS) against Khaybar. Abu Musa stated, "The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) moved out towards Khaybar and when his men 
looked down into a valley, they raised their voices in a shout of Allahu Akbarl 
La Ilaha illaAllakl God is most Great! There is no god but God!' The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) told them, 'Restrain yourselves! You are not calling out to 
someone deaf or far away; you are addressing One who is All-Hearing and near 
at hand; He is with you!' 

"I was directly behind the mount of the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he 
heard me as I said, l La hawla wa la quwwata ilia bi Allah, "There is no strength 
nor power except with God".' He said, 'Abd Allah b. Qays.' I responded, 'At 
your service, Messenger of God.' He then said, 'Should I not direct you to a 
phrase from the treasures of paradise?' 'Yes, please do, Messenger of God, may 
my father and mother be your ransom!' He went on, 'La hawla wa la quwwata 
ilia bi Allah."'' 

The other authorities relate this too, along various lines of transmission, from 
c Abd al-Rahman b. Mull, father of c Uthman al-Nahdi, from Abu Musa al-Ash ( arl. 

What is correct is that this incident refers to their return from Khaybar. Abu 
Musa only arrived after the conquest of Khaybar, as is related above. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS), so I have been informed, 
after he had conquered Khaybar, gave to Ibn Luqaym al- c Absl its chickens and 
livestock. On the conquest of Khaybar, Ibn Luqaym spoke the following verses, 

'Napt was attacked by the Prophet with a well-armed 
and very powerful squadron; 

It was certain for shame when it was divided up and 
the warriors of Aslam and Ghifar were there in its 
midst. 

They attacked Banu ( Amr b. Zur'a early in the morning, 
and al-Shiqq's inhabitants had a grim day. 

They made its cocks run in its open spaces, and left 
only chickens squawking in the trees. 

Each fort had someone from Banu ( Abd al-Ashhal or Banu 
al-Najjar working with their horses. 

And there were muhijiris, their badges showing above 
their helmets, not considering flight. 

I knew that Muhammad would triumph and would certainly 
stay there for many months of Safar. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 29 1 

Jews there opened their eyelids in the warfare that day 
beneath the dust.'" 



Division. 

An Account of those of the Companions mho were martyred at 

Khaybar, may God be pleased with them, according to what Ibn 

Ishaq b. Yasar, may God have mercy on him, and other 

authorities on the military engagements reported. 

Of the best of the muhajirin were Rabl'a b. Aktham b. Sakhbara al-Asadi, 
freed-man of Banu Umayya, and Thaqlf b. c Amf and Rifa<a b. Masruh, allies of 
Banu Umayya, <Abd Allah b. al-Hubayb b. Uhayb b. Suhaym b. Ghira of Banu 
Sa<d b. Layth, ally of Band Asad, and their nephew. Of the ansar, there were 
Bishr b. al-Bara* b. Ma c rQr, who ate from the poisoned sheep in the company 
of the Messenger of God (SAAS), as is told above, and Fudayl b. al-Nu c man, 
both these men being of Banu Salam. Then there were Mas c ud b. Sa c d b. Qays 
b. Khalid b. c Amir b. Zurayq al-Zarqi, Mahmud b. Maslama al-Ashhali, Abu 
Dayyah Haritha b. Thabit b. al-Nu ( man al- c Amri, al-Harith b. Hatib, ^Urwa 
b. Murra b. Suraqa, Aws b. al-Fa°id, Unayf b. Habib, Thabit b. Athila, Talha, 
MJmara b. 'Uqba, killed by an arrow, c Amir b. al-Akwa c , artd then Salama b. 
c Amr b. al-Akwa c ; he was struck in his knee by the edge of his sword and it killed 
him, as is told above; may God be pleased with him. Then there was al-Aswad, 
the shepherd. Ibn Ishaq is alone in telling here the story of the last-mentioned. 
We already related it early on in the account of the expedition. And to God 
belong all praise and credit. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "According to Ibn Shihab, those of Banu Zahra who were 
martyred were Mas'ud b. Rabi'a, an ally of theirs from al-Qara. And of the 
ansar of Banu c Amr b. <Awf there was Aws b. Qatada, may God be pleased with 
them all." 



THE INCIDENT INVOLVING AL-HAJJAJ B. <ILA T AL-BAHZI, 
MA Y GOD BE PLEASED WITH HIM 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When Khaybar had been conquered, the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) talked with al-Hajjaj b. ^lat al-Sulaml, of the sub-tribe of Bahz, who 
asked him, 'Messenger of God, in Mecca I own money in the possession of my 
wife Umm Shayba, daughter of Abu Talha (she had earlier borne him his son 
Mu c rid b. al-Hajjaj) and I also have other funds held by various merchants there. 
Please allow me to go there.' He did so. Al-Hajjaj then said, 'Messenger of God, 
I'll be forced to speak lies.' 'Do so,' he told him. 



292 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"Al-Hajjaj stated, 'I travelled to Mecca and at the pass al-Bayda 5 there were 
men of Quraysh listening for news and asking about the activities of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS). They had heard that he had gone to Khaybar, which 
they knew to be the chief village of Hijaz, productive, well-fortified and well 
populated. They were seeking information from travellers. 

'"When they saw me, they said, "It's al-Hajjaj b. 'Hat." (They did not know 
of my acceptance of Islam.) "He'll have news, by God. Tell us, Abu Muhammad. 
We have learned that al-Qatf, 'the breaker of family ties', has gone off to 
Khaybar, a town of Jews and the 'farm of the Hijaz'." I replied, "I heard that too; 
and I have news that will please you." They crowded at both sides of my camel 
asking, "Well, what is it, H&jjaj!" I replied, "He has been badly defeated, such as 
you could never imagine. Very many of his men have been killed and Muhammad 
has been taken captive. And they (the Jews) have said, 'We'll not kill him; 
instead, we'll send him in to Mecca where they can kill him among themselves 
in revenge for those of their men he killed.'" (Hearing this) the Quraysh men 
went off into Mecca shouting, "News has arrived! You need only wait and 
Muhammad will be brought in to be killed among you!"' 

"Al-Hajjaj went on, 'I asked them, "Please help me collect the money I own 
and is owed me in Mecca; I want to go to Khaybar and acquire the spoils from 
Muhammad and his men before some other merchants precede me there." And 
they did, gathering my assets faster than I had ever heard before. I then went 
to my wife and said, "I want my money," (I had left money there with her), "for 
I want to go to Khaybar to seize opportunities to buy before other merchants 
precede me there." 

" 'When al- ( Abbas b. c Abd al-Muttalib 77 heard the news and about myself, he 
came and stood beside me in the tent of a merchant. He asked, "Hajjaj, what 
news is this you bring?" I replied, "Could you keep safe what I might entrust 
with you?" "Yes," he answered. "Then wait", I told him, "till I can meet you 
alone; I'm collecting my funds, as you can see; please leave me until I finish." 
When I had finished getting together everything I had in Mecca and was ready 
to leave, I met al- c Abbas and said, "Abu al-Fadl, keep private what I tell you for 
three days, because I fear pursuit. After that, say whatever you like." "I agree," 
he said. I then told him, "I left your nephew the bridegroom of their king's 
daughter" - meaning Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy — "after he had conquered 
Khaybar and had taken away all it contained for himself and his men." "What 
are you saying, Hajjaj?" he asked. "It's true, by God," I assured him, "but keep 
it confidential about me. I have accepted Islam and only came for my money 
fearing it might be seized. When three days have elapsed, you can tell what you 
know as ever you want." 

" 'On the third day, al- c Abbas dressed in a fine robe, put on perfume, took his 
walking stick and went out to the ka c ba, which he perambulated. When people 

77. An uncle of the Prophet (SAAS); he had remained in Mecca throughout the conflict 
between the Muslims and Quraysh. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 5 ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 293 

saw him, they said, "Abu al-Fadl, this must imply, by God, that you are 
remaining steadfast in the face of some great misfortune!" "Not at all, by 
God, by Whom you swear oaths. Muhammad has conquered Khaybar and has 
married their king's daughter after seizing all their possessions, which now 
belong to him and his men." "Who brought you this news?" they asked. "The 
same man who brought news to you! He came to you as a Muslim, took his 
money and has gone off to join Muhammad and his men!" "O servants of God," 
they exclaimed, "God's enemy has escaped! If we had known this he would have 
had trouble with us!" Soon after, news came to them confirming this.'" 

It is thus that Ibn Ishaq related this story, without a full chain of transmission. 

Imam Ahmad substantiated it by saying, " c Abd al-Razzaq related to us, 
quoting Ma c mar (who said), 'I heard Thabit relating from Anas, as follows, 
"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) conquered Khaybar, al-Hajjaj b. Hat 
asked him, 'Messenger of God, I have funds and family in Mecca. I would like to 
bring them. Would I be excused if I maligned you or told lies?' The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) told him to say whatever he liked. So he went to his wife after 
his arrival there and said, 'Gather up for me what you have; I want to purchase 
the booty from Muhammad and his men. They have been captured and their 
possessions seized.' 

"'"This news spread throughout Mecca. The Muslims were defeated and the 
polytheists expressed their jubilation. When the news reached al- c Abbas, he was 
devastated; he could scarcely stand up."' 

"Ma'mar stated, ' c Uthman al-Khazrajl informed me, from Miqsam, who 
said, "He (al-'Abbas) picked up a son of his named Qutham stretched out on 
the ground and placed him on his chest, reciting the following verse, 

'My darling Qutham, who has such a nice litde nose, 
A child of affluence, despite what is claimed."" 

"Thabit stated, from Anas, 'He then sent a young slave of his to Hajjaj b. ^lat 
with the message, "Woe on you for what you brought! What is it you are saying? 
What God promised is better than what you brought!" Hajjaj b. 'Ilat responded, 
"Give my greetings to Abu al-Fadl and ask him to let me come to him in one of 
his houses. I have news that will please him." The slave went back home and 
when he got there called out, "Rejoice, Abu al-Fadl!" Al- c Abbas jumped with joy 
and kissed him on the forehead. When the slave told him what Hajjaj had said, 
al~ c Abbas gave him his freedom. 

'"Then al-Hajjaj came to him and told him that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) had conquered Khaybar and had captured their possessions, which 
had been apportioned. He recounted how the Messenger of God (SAAS) had 
chosen Safiyya, daughter of Huyayy, for himself and offered her a choice between 
having her freedom and marrying him, or joining her family; she had chosen for 
him to free her and to be his wife. Al-Hajjaj went on, "But I've just come for my 



294 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

funds that are here and I want to take it. I asked the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
for permission to come and he gave it to me, telling me to say whatever I liked. 
So keep this private for three days then tell whatever you want." 

"'So his wife gathered all his funds, jewellery and others of his possessions 
she had with her, gave them to him and he moved on with it. Three days later 
al- c Abbas came to al-Hajjaj 's wife and said, "What happened to your husband?" 
She related to him that he had left on such-and-such a day. She told him, "May 
God not sadden you, Abu al-Fadl. The news you received did upset us." He 
replied, "Indeed not; God does not sadden me and, praise be to God, nothing 
has happened to displease me. God has conquered Khaybar for His messenger 
and its properties have been allotted already. The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
has chosen Safiyya for himself. If you care for your husband, you should join 
him." "By God, am I to think you're telling me the truth?" she asked. "Indeed 
I am and the situation is as I have told you," he assured her. 

'"Al- c Abbas then went to an assembly of Quraysh. As he went by them, 
they called out, "May nothing but good befall you, Abu al-Fadl." He replied, 
"Nothing but good has, praise be to God! Al-Hajjaj b. 'flat related to me that 
God has conquered Khaybar for His messenger. Its properties have been allotted, 
and he has chosen Safiyya for himself. He asked me to keep this confidential 
for three days. He came back only to collect his money and possessions here, 
and then he left.'" 

"God now reverted to the polytheists that depression that had been upon the 
Muslims. Having previously taken sadly to their homes, the Muslims now came 
forth and went to aMAbbas and he told them all he knew. They were delighted, 
their depression, anger and sadness now transferring to the polytheists." 

The chain of authorities for this hadith meets the criteria of both the great 
authorities. Yet only al-Nasa J I of all six authors of the great collections of ahadith 
included it. He quoted Ishaq b. Ibrahim, from c Abd al-Razzaq, and his hadith 
is similar. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql related it through Mahmud b. Ghaylan, from <Abd 
al-Razzaq. He also related it through Ya'qub b. Sufyan, from Zayd b. al-Mubarak, 
from Muhammad b. Thawr, from Ma'mar in similar form. 

Musa b. <Uqba similarly stated in his work on the military engagements 
that much betting and wagering now arose among Quraysh. Some people said, 
"Muhammad and his men will prevail," Others said, "The two allies and the 
Jews of Khaybar will prevail." Al-Hajjaj b. 'Hat al-Sulami, from the sub-tribe of 
al-Bahz had accepted Islam and witnessed, along with the Messenger of God 
(SAAS), the conquest of Khaybar. His wife was Umm Shayba, sister of <Abd 
al-Dar b. Qusayy. Al-Hajjaj had much money; he owned mines in BanQ Salim 
territory. When the Messenger of God (SAAS) prevailed over Khaybar, 
al-Hajjaj asked permission from the Messenger of God (SAAS) to go to Mecca 
to gather together his funds. He gave permission; the hadith proceeds hereafter 
as above. But God knows best. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHI R 295 

Al-Suhayli, may God be pleased with him, stated, "On the reason for al-Hajjaj 
accepting Islam we narrated a strange story concerning the jinn, 'the spirits'. 
He was the father of Nasr b. Hajjaj, who was banished by 'Umar b. al-Khattab, 
may God be pleased with him, from Medina because he had seduced some of 
the city's young women. Al-Farl'a, daughter of Harnmam, mother of al-Hajjaj b. 
Yusuf al-Thaqafi, spoke the following line about him, 

'Indeed not; no way to wine for me to drink, and no way 
to Nasr b. Hajjaj.' 

"When he went to Syria, he fell in love with the wife of Abu al-Aswad al-Sulaml, 
and wasted away for love of her. He was known as al-Dlnni, 'he who wasted 
away'. He died from this." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Among the poetry composed about the expedition to 
Khaybar are the verses by Hassan b. Thabit, 

'Those of Khaybar fought only badly for the farms and 
date-palms they had accumulated. 

They disliked death and so their possessions became 
booty; they acted like blameworthy cowards. 

Would they flee death? The death of those who starve 
is not pretty.'" 

Ka^b b. Malik said, according to what Ibn Hisham related from Abu Zayd 
al-Ansart, 

"We descended on Khaybar and its wells, the veins of 
our heroes' hands standing out, 

Men brave in fierce battle, not lacking strength, 
daring in every encounter. 

Many are the ashes beneath their pots each winter, 
men who strike with Yemeni swords made of Indian 
steel, 

Considering death a reward from God if they achieve 
martyrdom; they hope for it, considering it a success 
for Ahmad. 

Protecting and guarding Muhammad's honour, protecting 
him with tongue and hand, 

■ Helping him in every matter that concerns him, 
generously offering their lives for that of Muhammad, 

Believing sincerely in news of the unknown world, 
seeking honour and success in the future thereby." 



Section; On the passage of the Messenger of God (SAAS) past Wail al-Qura and 
his besieging the Jems and how they made peace with him, as related by al-Waqidi. 

Al-Waqidl stated, " c Abd al-Rahman b. c Abd al-^Aziz related to me, from al-Zuhn, 



296 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

from Abu Salama, from Abu Hurayra, who said, 'We went forth with the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) from Khaybar to Wadi al-Qura. Rifa<a b. Zayd b. 
Wahb al-Judhaml had presented a black slave named Mid t am to the Messenger 
of God (SAAS). It was he who would set the saddle upon the mount of the 
Messenger of God (SAAS), When we made a halt at Wadi al-Qura we came 
up against some Jews, and some bedouin also approached it. While Mid c am was 
setting the saddle of the Messenger of God (SAAS) in position - some Jews 
having already greeted us with arrow shots when we dismounted and we were 
therefore not ready packed and loaded, they being above us in their fortresses 
shouting - a stray arrow came in and struck and killed Mid c am. People said, 
"Lucky for him: paradise!" But the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, "Definitely 
not, by Him in whose hands is my soul. The cloak he took at Khaybar from the 
spoils that the distributor of the booty did not receive will light fires (of hell) for 
him!" When people heard this, a man came to the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
with one or two sandal straps. The Prophet (SAAS) then said, "A sandal strap 
or two of hell-fire!"'" 

This story is in both sahih collections from the hadtth of Malik, from Thawr 
b. Yazld, from Abu al-Ghayth, from Abu Hurayra, from the Prophet (SAAS), 
in similar form. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "The Messenger of God ($AAS) equipped his men for 
battle and arranged them in lines. He gave his banner to Sa^ b. t Ubada, a flag 
to al-Habab b. al-Mundhir, another to Sahl b. Hanif and another flag to Ibad 
b. Bishr. He then called the enemy to Islam and told them that if they did 
they would win their possessions and spare their blood and that God would 
reward them. 

"One of the enemy then came out to challenge for single combat and al-Zubayr 
b. al- c Awwam went out against him and killed him. Then another made the 
challenge and c Ali went out against him and killed him. This went on till 1 1 of 
them had been killed; each time one of them was killed, the rest were invited 
to accept Islam. 

"When prayer times came that day, he would pray with his Companions then 
return and call upon them to accept Islam and to come to God, Almighty and 
Glorious is He, and His messenger. He went on fighting them till evening. Early 
next morning he attacked them again and the sun had not risen more than the 
length of a spear before they surrendered. He conquered it by force and so God 
gave them their possessions as booty; they won large quantities of furnishings 
and various goods. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) remained at Wadi al-Qura for four days. He 
divided up what he had taken among his men, leaving the land and palm trees 
in the hands of the Jews, putting them in charge of it. When news reached the 
Jews of Tayma' how the Messenger of God (SAAS) had defeated Khaybar, 
Fadak and Wadi al-Qura, they made peace with him, agreeing to pay the jizya, 
the poll-tax. They kept their possessions. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 297 

"Although "Uinar had later evicted the Jews from Khaybar and Fadak, he 
did not force out the people of Tayma 5 and Wadi al-Qura, because the latter 
extended into the land of Syria; he considered that what was between Wadi 
al-Qura and Medina to be part of Hijaz, areas beyond any part of Syria. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then left to return to Medina, having now 
finished with Khaybar and Wadi al-Qura and God, Almighty and Glorious is 
He, having given him much booty." 

Al-Waqidl went on, "Ya'qOb b. Muhammad related to me, from { Abd 
al-Rahman b. <Abd Allah b. Abu Sa<sa^i, from al-Harith b. <Abd Allah b. Ka<b, 
from Umm 'Imara, who said, 'I heard the Messenger of God (SAAS) at al-Jurf 
saying, "Do not make your way to the women after the salat al-'asktf, the late 
evening prayer." One man from the quarter did make his way to his family, but 
found what he did not like. But he left her free and did not himself leave her. He 
was reluctant to give up his wife by separating from her. He had children by / 
her and loved her. So by disobeying the Messenger of God (SAAS) he had 
seen what he did not like.' " 

Division. 

It is established in both sahih collections that when Khaybar was conquered, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) placed the Jews in charge of it in return for a half 
of its dates and other produce. 

In some phrases of this hadlth it is implied that he was removing it from their 
ownership, while in others it is stated , "The Prophet (SAAS) stated to them, 
'We will keep you in them for as long as we wish.'" 

In the Sunan works it is stated that he would send c Abd Allah b. Rawaha to 
appraise it for them when he came to take the harvest, holding them responsible for 
it. When c Abd Allah b. Rawaha was killed at MuHa, the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
sent Jabbar b. Sakhr to do this, as is told above. The place citing these phrases 
and discussion of their provenance is in the section on temporary sharecropping 
contracts in the work Kitab al-Akkilm, if God so wills it, and in Him is our trust. 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "I asked Ibn Shihab how it was that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) had given the Jews of Khaybar their palm-groves. He informed 
me that the Messenger of God (SAAS) conquered Khaybar by force and after 
fighting. Khaybar was part of what God bestowed upon him as war booty; he 
divided its proceeds into fifths, distributing it among the Muslims. After the 
fighting, some of its inhabitants came out to leave and the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) called for them to approach and told them, 'If you wish, I will make over 
these properties to you on condition that you work them; their proceeds will be 
divided between us. I will let you stay for as long as God lets you stay.' 

"They accepted and worked the land in accord with this agreement. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) used to send c Abd Allah b. Rawaha to divide up the 
proceeds, treating them fairly in the appraisal. 



298 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"When God took to Himself His Prophet (SAAS), Abu Bakr affirmed 
Khaybar in their control on the same basis as that which the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had maintained before he died. 'Umar b. al-Khattab reconfirmed 
them in this from the beginning of his rule. But then ^Umar learned that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had said during that illness during which God took 
hold of him, 'Two religions shall not be together in the Arabian peninsula!' c Umar 
examined this issue closely until he became utterly convinced of its authenticity, 
at which point he sent a message to the Jews saying, 'God has granted me 
permission to evict you. I have learned that the Messenger of God (SAAS) said, 
"Two religions shall not be together in the Arabian peninsula." Anyone with a 
contract with the Messenger of God (SAAS) should bring it to me and I will 
enforce it. Those without such contracts should prepare to leave.' And ^mar 
did evict those who had no contracts with the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

I comment that the Jews of Khaybar in latter-day times, after 300 (years) claim 
to have in their possession a document from the Messenger of God (SAAS), in 
which it states that he exempted them from paying the jizya, the poll-tax. 

Some scholars have been so deluded by this document as to advocate 
exempting them from the jizya, this being Sheikh Abu c All b. Khayrun, of the 
Shaft*! school. The document is spurious and fake, devoid of authenticity; I 
have demonstrated its foolishness from many viewpoints in a separate book. 

A number of colleagues have referred to it and to its foolishness in their 
writings, such as Ibn al-Sibagh, in his work Masa'il and Sheikh Abu Hamid in 
his commentary. Ibn al-Maslama devoted a separate section to refer to and to 
refute it. Now, 700 years later, they are all excited about this and have brought 
out a book with a copy not mentioned by the early authorities. I have examined 
it and found it to be fake. It contains testimony of Sa<d b. Mu<adh, though he had 
died before the date of Khaybar. It also gives the testimony of Mu'awiya b. Abu 
Sufyan, though he had not yet accepted Islam. At its end it states, "And c Ali b. 
Abu Talib wrote it." This is incorrect, a mistake. It refers to the jizya, too, even 
though this had not yet been legislated. This tax was first introduced and taken 
from the people of Najran. They are said to have arrived at the end of 9 AH. But 
God knows best. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Nafi ? , freed-man of c Abd Allah b. ^mar related to me, from 
Ibn ^Umar, who said, 'I, al-Zubayr b. al- c Awwam and al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad went 
out to inspect our properties at Khaybar. When we arrived there, we separated 
and went to our properties. During the night, while I slept on my bed, an attack 
was made on me and my wrists were dislocated. When I cried out for my 
companions, they came and asked me who had done this. I told them I did 
not know. They administered to my hands and then took me to c Umar, who 
declared, "This is the work of the Jews of Khaybar!" 

" 'He then stood up before the people to make a speech and said, "People, the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had an agreement with the Jews of Khaybar that we 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 299 

should evict them if we wished. They have attacked c Abd Allah b. HJmar and 
dislocated his hands, as you have learned, having attacked one of the ansar before 
him. We have no doubt that it was they who did it; we have no enemies here 
besides them. Those who have property at Khaybar should proceed to them; 
I am going to evict the Jews." And he did evict them.'" 

I note that 'Umar b. al-Khattab had a share of the booty at Khaybar. He left 
it as a waqf, a charitable endowment, in God's cause, stipulating that it be 
managed in accord with the instruction set by the Messenger of God (SAAS), 
recorded in the sahih collections. He directed that it be managed by the most 
righteous of his male and female descendants. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaqi stated (in a heading) in his work DalaHl ( The Signs), 
"A summary of the chapters on the military expeditions which are mentioned as 
having occurred after the conquest of Khaybar and before the Himrat al-qada'^ 
even though the date of some of these is not considered clear by the scholars of 
the military chronicles." 



THE EXPEDITION OF ABO BAKR AL-SIDDIQ TO BAND FAZARA. 

Imam Ahmad stated that Bahz related to him, quoting Ikrima b. <Ammar, 
quoting Iyas b. Salama (who said), "My father related to me, saying, 'We went 
forth with Abu Bakr b. Abu Quhafa, the Messenger of God (SAAS) having given 
him command over us. We attacked BanO Fazara, and when we arrived near the 
well, Abu Bakr gave us orders and we dismounted to rest for the night. When 
we had performed the al-subh prayer, Abu Bakr ordered us to attack. We killed 
at the well those who passed before us.' 

"Salama went on, 'I then looked over at the mass of the enemy which included 
children and women moving towards the mountain while I pursued them. I 
was concerned that they would get to the mountain ahead of me, so I cast an 
arrow which fell between them and the mountain. I then led them back to Abu 
Bakr whom I reached at the well. Among the enemy there was a woman of 
Fazara wearing a worn-out leather garment. With her she had her daughter, an 
unusually attractive Arab girl. Abu Bakr presented her daughter to me. I did not 
sleep with her before we reached Medina, then again I went to bed without 
sleeping with her. The Messenger of God (SAAS) met me in the market and 
asked me, 'Salama, give the woman to me!" I replied, "By God, Messenger of 
God, she attracts me greatly but I've not slept with her." The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) remained silent and left me. Next day he met me in the market and 
said, "Salama, give the woman to me!" I replied, "By God, Messenger of Gocl, 
she attracts me greatly, but I've not slept with her!" The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) remained silent and left me. Next day the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
met me in the market and said, "Salama, give the woman to me, may God preserve 
your father!" I replied, "I swear by God, Messenger of God, I've not slept with 
her, but she is yours." The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent her to the people of 



300 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Mecca who had in their hands some Muslim prisoners. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) ransomed them with this woman."' 

Muslim and al-Bayhaqi related this from ahadith of 'Ikrima b. c Ammar. 



THE EXPEDITION OF C UMAR B. AL-KHATfAB, MA Y GOD BE 
PLEASED WITH HIM, TO TURBA, IN HAWAZIN TERRITORY, 
FOUR MILES BEYOND MECCA. 

Then al-Bayhaqi related, through al-Waqidf with the lines of tradition given by 
him, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) sent 'Uniar b. al-Khattab, may God be 
pleased with him, along with 30 riders and a guide of Banu Hilal. They travelled 
by night and kept concealed by day. When they reached the enemy territory, 
they fled and so ^mar returned to Medina. He was asked, "Would you like 
to do battle with Khath<am?" He replied, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) 
ordered me only to battle Hawazin in their lands." 



THE EXPEDITION OF <ABD ALLAH B. RA WAHA TO YUSA YR 
B. RIZAM, THE JEW. 

He then related, through Ibrahim b. Lahi'a, from Abu al-Aswad, from c Urwa, 
and through Musa b. c Uqba, from al-Zuhri, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
sent *Abd Allah b. Rawaha with 30 riders - inclusive of c Abd Allah b. Rawaha 
— to Yusayr b. Rizam, the Jew, whom they reached at Khaybar. The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) had heard that he was joining with Ghatafan to attack him 
along with them. When they (the Muslims) met with him, they told him, "The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) has sent us to you to place you in charge of 
Khaybar." They stayed with him until he eventually followed them with 30 men, 
each of whom had a co-rider from the Muslims. When they ail reached Qarqara 
Niyar, a place some 6 miles from Khaybar, Yusayr b. Rizam regretted what he 
had agreed and reached for the sword of c Abd Allah b. Rawaha. The latter was 
aware of this and first held back his mount, then rushed ahead, leading the 
others. When he could overcome Yusayr, he struck his leg, cutting it off. Yusayr 
then charged ahead, wielding a cudgel of fir wood and with it struck at the face 
of c Abd Allah b. Rawaha, hitting him on top of his head. Each of the Muslims 
then turned upon his co-rider and killed him. (All were killed) except one Jew 
whom they were unable to catch. None of the Muslims were killed; and the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) spat upon the wound of c Abd Allah b. Rawaha. The 
wound did not fester and it did not hurt him for as long as he lived. 



ANOTHER EXPEDITION WITH BASH 7R B. SA<-D. 

A hadlth is related through al-Waqidi, with its chain of transmission, that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) sent Bashir b. Sa c d with 30 riders to Banu Murra, in 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA 3 ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 301 

Fadak territory. He drove off their camels and they did battle with him. The 
Jews killed all the men with him; Bashlr displayed great courage that day and 
fought most fiercely. Eventually he took refuge in Fadak, spending the night 
with a Jew there. After that he made his way back to Medina. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) then sent forth Ghalib b. 
c Abd Allah against them, along with a group of his chief Companions." He then 
mentioned Usama b. Zayd, Abu Mas £ ud al-Badn, and Ka'b b, c Ujra. 

Thereafter al-Waqidl went on to relate how Usama b. Zayd killed Mirdas b. 
Nuhayk, an ally of Banu Murra. He told how, when he held his sword over him, 
Mirdas spoke the words, La Ilaha ilia Allah] "There is no god but God!" and 
that those with him criticized Usama since the man had gone on saying this until 
he had brought his sword down. Al-Waqidi said that Usama later regretted what 
he had done. 

Yunus b. Bukayr related this story from Ibn Ishaq, from a sheikh of Banu 
Salama, from men of his tribe, to the effect that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
sent Ghalib b. c Abd Allah al-Kalbl to the territory of Banu Murra. He captured 
Mirdas b. Nuhayk, an ally of theirs from al-Hurqa, and Usama killed him. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Muhammad b. Usama b. Muhammad b. Usama related to 
me from his father, from his grandfather Usama b. Zayd, who said, 'I and one of 
the ansar captured him' (meaning Mirdas b. Nuhayk). 'And when we drew our 
swords over him, he said, "I testify that la Ilaha ilia Allah\" But we did not 
put down our swords and killed him. When we went to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) and related this to him, he asked, "Usama who will be for you (regarding 
such a case where it has been testified) that la Ilaha ilia Allah 'there is no god but 
God'?" I replied, "But Messenger of God, he only said it to avoid being killed." 
He repeated, "Usama, who will be for you (regarding such a case where it has been 
testified that) la laka ilia allahV And, I swear, he kept on repeating this to me 
until I wished I had not previously been a Muslim, that I had only become one that 
day and that I had not killed him. So I told him, "Messenger of God, I give my 
word that I will never kill any man who says, '/« Ilaha ilia Allah\" He then asked 
me, "And what about after me?" "And after you (yoUr death) too," I replied.'" 

Imam Ahmad stated that Hushaym b. Bashir related, quoting Husayn, from 
Abu Zubyan, who said, "I heard Usama b. Zayd relate as follows, 'The Messenger 
of God (SAAS) sent us out to al-Hurqa of Juhayna. We attacked them in the 
morning. One of their men fought extremely well against us, and when they 
retreated, it was he who defended their rear. I and an ansari overcame him and 
as we did so, he said, "la Ilaha ilia Allah". The ansari stood back from him, but 
I killed him. News of this reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), and he asked, 
"Usama, did you kill him after he said, 'la Ilaha ilia AllaWV I replied, "But 
Messenger of God, he only said that to avoid death." But he kept on asking me 
the same until I wished I had only become a Muslim that day.'" 

Al-Bukharl and Muslim gave this account from a hadtth of Hushaym in similar 
terms. 



3 02 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Ya'qflb b. <Utba related to me, from Muslim b. c Abd Allah 
al~Juhani, from jundub b. Makith al-Juhanl, who said, 'The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) sent Ghalib b. <Abd Allah al-Kalbl, Kalb of Layth, to Banu 
al~Mulawwah at al-Kadid with orders to attack them. I was with his expedition 
and we went out as far as al-Qudayd, where al-Harith b. Malik b. al-Barsa' 
al~Laythl met us and we took him prisoner. He said, "I came out only to accept 
Islam." Ghalib b. c Abd Allah told him, "If you were on your way to accept Islam, 
then it won't hurt you to be tied up for a day and a night. And if you really had 
some other purpose, then we'll have you secured." 

"'So he tied him up and left him under the charge of a young black man we 
had with us, whom he told, "Stay with him until we come back for you; if he 
gives you trouble, cut off his head!" So we went on to the al-Kadid valley, where 
we made a halt in the early evening and my companions sent me on towards 
al-Kadid. I made my way to a hill that would allow me to overlook the village. 
I stretched out on the ground. It was before sunset. One of their men came 
outside and saw me stretched out on the hill. He told his wife, "I can see 
something dark on this hill that I did not notice earlier in the day. Look and see 
whether the dogs have dragged out some of your utensils." She did look, then 
said, "I swear, I'm not missing anything." The man then said, "Hand me my 
bow and two arrows from my quiver." She did so and he shot an arrow at me that 
struck me in the side' (or he may have said, 'on my forehead'). 'I pulled it out 
and put it aside, without moving. He then shot the other arrow at me, piercing 
the top of ray shoulder. I withdrew it too and put it aside without moving. The 
man then told his wife, "I'm sure my arrows would have hurt him; if he were 
a scout, he would have moved. In the morning, go out and retrieve my arrows; 
I don't want the dogs to chew them up."'" 

He went on, "We left them alone until their herd had been milked and were 
lying down quietly and a part of the night had passed. We then launched an 
attack upon them. We killed some and drove off their herd, heading away with 
them. Their shouts soon aroused others of them nearby. We raced off, eventually 
passing by al-Harith b. Malik b. al-Barqa* and his companion. We continued on, 
with him accompanying us, until we heard the shouts of our pursuers who were 
too numerous for us to tackle. Soon all that separated us from them was the 
Qudyd valley. Then God sent down a flood of water from wherever He wished; 
we had not previously seen any rain, nor conditions for it. It came down so hard 
tht no one could withstand it. I saw the enemy force standing there staring at 
us, unable to get at us, while we drove off their animals" - or "led them off" 
(al-Nufayli was uncertain). "We hurried away with them until we reached the 
track; when we had proceeded down it, they were unable to retrieve what we 
had taken." 

Abu Da'ud related it from a hadith of Muhammad b. Ishaq; in his account 
the narrator's name is given as c Abd Allah b. Ghalib, whereas the correct name 
is Ghalib b. c Abd Allah, as above. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 303 

Al-Waqidi gave this story with a different line of authorities and in his version 
it was stated that he was accompanied by 130 men. 

Al-Bayhaql at this point narrated, through al-Waqidi, the expedition of Bashir 
b. $a*d also in the vicinity of Khaybar. They encountered a large force of Arabs and 
seized much livestock. His dispatch on this expedition had been at the suggestion 
of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, may God be pleased with both. With him there were 
300 Muslims, along with their guide Husayl b. Nawbara; it was he who had been 
the guide of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Khaybar. Al-Waqidi stated this. 



THE EXPEDITION OF ABO HADRAD TO AL-GHABA. 

Yunus stated, quoting Muhammad b. Ishaq, "It was Ja'far b. c Abd Allah b. 
Aslam who related to me the story of Abu Hadrad to al-Ghaba. He quoted Abu 
Hadrad as saying, 'I arranged marriage with a woman of my tribe, promising her 
a dowry of two hundred dirhams. So I went to the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
to seek his help in my wedding. He asked me, "How much dowry did you 
promise her?" "Two hundred dirhams," I told him. He exclaimed, "Goodness 
gracious, I swear by God, if you were just picking up the money from a valley 
floor, you couldn't have given more! I swear, I don't have enough to help 
you." A few days later a man from Jasham b. Mu'awiya approached; his name 
was Rifa'a b. Qays - or Qays b. Rifa'a. He was accompanied by a large group 
of Jasham men, with whom he encamped at al-Ghaba, with the intention of 
combining with Qays to fight against the Messenger of God (SAAS). He was a 
man of fine birth and reputation among Jasham. 

"'The Messenger of God (SAAS) summoned myself and two other Muslims 
and said, u Go out and get some information about this man." He then gave us 
a decrepit old she-camel, mounting one of us on it. I swear, it was so weak it 
could only get up with him, when some men pushed it up from behind. It could 
scarcely stand up. He told us, "Make do with her." 

"'So we left bearing arms consisting of swords and arrows. When we arrived 
at sunset close to the village, I hid on one side and told my companions to hide 
on another. I told them, "If you hear me crying Allahu Akbarl and running to 
their camp, then you shout the same and follow me." 

" 'We remained waiting to attack them by surprise until night overcame us. 
The darkest part of the night passed. They had a shepherd who had gone out to 
graze their flock. He was late in returning and they were worried about him. 
Their leader, Rifafa b. Qays eventually got up and took his sword, which he hung 
around his neck, saying, "By God, I'm going out to find out about our shepherd; 
something must have happened to him." Some of those with him said, "By God, 
don't you go; we'll do it for you." "No," he replied. "Only I will go. I don't want 
any of you to follow me." 

" 'He then came out and passed by me. When he was in my range, I shot an 
arrow at him, piercing him in the heart. I swear, he did not utter a sound! 



304 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

I jumped out at him and cut off his head, then raced towards their camp, 
shouting Allahu Akbar\ My companions did the same. I swear, they fled in 
disorder, taking with them their women, children and those possessions they 
could. We drove off large numbers of their camels and livestock which we 
took back to the Messenger of God (SAAS). I went to him carrying the man's 
head. He gave me 13 baggage camels from those we captured as my dowry. So I 
concluded my marriage.'" 



THE EXPEDITION IN WHICH MUHALLIM B. JUTHAMA 
KILLED <AMIR B. AL-ADBAT. 

Yazld b. <Abd Allah b. Qusayt related to me, from Ibn <Abd Allah b. Abu 
Hadrad, from his father, who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent us out 
against Idam. Our group of Muslims included Abu Qatada al-Harith b. Rib c i and 
Muhallim b. Jaththama b. Qays. We went on until we were in the Idam valley. 
There c Amir b. al-Adbat al-Ashja^i passed us by; he was riding a young camel, 
carrying a few provisions and a vessel of yoghurt. He saluted us with the Muslim 
words of greeting and so we refrained from attacking him. But Muhallim b. 
Jaththama attacked and killed him because of some earlier unresolved problem 
and seized his camel and provisions. When we reached the Messenger of God, 
(SAAS) we told him our news and it was about us that the following verses 
of the Qur>an were revealed, 'O you who believe! When you go forth in God's 
cause, be circumspect. Do not say to those who greet you in peace, "You're no 
Muslim!" and seek for worldly gain. With God there will be many rewards. That 
is the way you behaved previously, but God has now favoured you. Be aware that 
God has knowledge of what you do'" (surat al-Nisa?; IV, v.94). 

Imam Ahmad related this from Ya'qtib, from his father, from Muhammad 
b. Ishaq, from Yazld b. ( Abd Allah b. Qusayt, from al-Qa < qa c b. c Abd Allah b. 
Abu Hadrad, from his father. 

Ibn Ish^q stated, "Muhammad b. Jafar related to me, saying, 'I heard Ziyad 
b. Dumira b. Sa<d al-Damrl narrating a hadith from Vrwa b. al-Zubayr, from 
his father and from his grandfather, both of whom said — they had both been 
present at Hunayn _ "The Messenger of God (SAAS) performed the al-zuhr, 
noon prayer, then went under the shade of a tree where he sat. c Uyayna b. Badr 
went over to him and demanded the blood of c Amir b. al-Adbat al-Ashja c i, chief 
of (Banu) c Amir. 'Would you agree to now accept 50 camels and another fifty 
when we return to Medina?' the Messenger of God (SAAS) asked, ^yayna b. 
Badr responded, 'By God, I'll not leave him alone till his women experience the 
same sorrow my women have.' 

" ' "A man from Banu Layth named Ibn Mukayl, a short man, arose. He said, 
'Messenger of God, I find nothing comparable to this death since the beginnings 
of Islam. All I can compare it to is the rear sheep that flee when their leader out 
in front is shot. Keep to the traditional ways today and bring change tomorrow!' 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 305 

"'"The Messenger of God (SAAS) reiterated, 'Will you agree to accept 50 
camels now and 50 when we return to Medina?' He kept on at them till they 
accepted the blood-wit. The family of Muhallim b. Jaththama now asked, 'Bring 
him over so that the Messenger of God (SAAS) may forgive him.' 

"'"They brought a tall, thin man dressed in a gown in which he was prepared 
to be executed, and he stood before the Prophet (SAAS), who then spoke, 'O 
God, do not pardon Muhallim!' He repeated this three times. Muhallim arose, 
wiping away his tears with the hem of his gown."'" 

Muhammad b. Ishaq stated, "His people claim that after that he did forgive 
him." 

Abu Da^d related this similarly through Hammad b. Salama from Ibn Ishaq. 
Ibn Maja related it from Abu Bakr b. Abu Shayba, from Abu Khalid al-Ahmar, 
from Ibn Ishaq, from Muhammad b. Ja c far, from Zayd b. Damira, from his 
father and his uncle. His account contains part of the hadith. 

The correct version is as Ibn Ishaq related, from Muhammad b. Ja c far, from 
Ziyad b. Sa<d b. Damira, from his father and his grandfather. Abu Da'ud related 
it similarly through Ibn Wahb, from c Abd al-Rahman b. Abu al-Zinad, from c Abd 
al-Rahman b. al-Harith, from Muhammad b. }a<far, from Ziyad b. Sa^ b. Damira, 
from his father and his grandfather approximately as above. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Salim Abu al-Nadr related to me that the account states, 
'They did not accept the blood-wit until al-Aqra c b. Habis addressed them 
privately, saying, "People of Qays, the Messenger of God (SAAS) asked you to 
give up a dead man to make peace between people thereby, but you refused him 
this. Are you secure against the possibility that he will be angry at you, and that 
God will be angry at his anger? Or that he will curse you and that God will curse 
you because of his curse? Give him over to the Messenger of God (SAAS), or I 
will bring 50 men of Banu Tamim who will all swear that the dead man was an 
unbeliever who never performed the prayer, and that therefore no compensation 
for his death should be sought." When he said this to them they accepted the 
blood-money.'" 

This hadith is munqati\ "without a complete chain of transmission", and is 
mu'dil, "problematic". 

Ibn Ishaq related from a reliable source, from al-Hasan al-Basrl, that when 
Muhallim sat before the Messenger of God (SAAS) the latter asked him, "Did 
you offer him security then murder him?" and that he then cursed him. 

"Al-Hasan said, "And I swear Muhallim lived only seven days more thereafter 
before he died. The earth spat him out. Then they buried him again, but the 
earth again spat him out. When this happened yet again, they covered him over 
with stones to hide him. When news of this reached the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) he said, 'The earth covers over worse than him, but God wishes to warn 
you of what conduct is impermissible, by showing you this.'" 

Ibn Jarir said, "Waki c related to us, quoting Jarir, from Ibn Ishaq, from Nafi c , 
from Ibn IJmar, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) sent out Muhallim 



3 06 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

b. Juththama on a mission. c Amir b. al-Adbat encountered them and saluted them 
with the Muslim greeting. But there had been a dispute between them before 
the coming of Islam and Muhallim shot an arrow at him and killed him. When 
news of this reached the Messenger of God (SAAS), he spoke with ^yayna and 
al-Aqra c about it. Al-Aqra c said, "Messenger of God, keep to custom today and 
make changes tomorrow." ^yayna said to him, "No, by God, not until his 
women taste the same bereavement." Muhallim approached, dressed in two outer 
garments, and sat before the Messenger of God (SAAS), asking his forgiveness, 
but the latter told him, "May God not forgive you!" They related that to him and 
he (the Messenger of God (SAAS)) said, "The earth accepts those worse than 
your companion, but God wished to warn you of what is impermissible to you." 
They then threw him down and dumped him on a mountain side, covering him 
with stones. And there was revealed, "O you who believe! When you go forth in 
God's cause, be circumspect."'" 

Musa b. 'Uqba related this from al-Zuhri. Shu'ayb related it from al-Zuhrl, 
from c Abd Allah b. Wahb from Qubaysa b. Dhu'yib, his story being similar 
to this. However, his account does not name Muhallim b. Juththama, nor c Amir 
b. al-Adbat. Al-Bayhaqi related it in a similar account from al-Hasan al-Basri. 
That account stated, "And it was about him that the words of the Almighty 
were revealed, 'O you who believe! When you go forth in God's cause, be 
circumspect.'" 

I note that I have sufficiently discussed the reasons for the revelation of this 
verse and its import in my Tafsir (Exegesis). And to God belong all praise and 
credit. 



THE EXPEDITION OF <ABD ALLAH B. HUDHAFA ALSAHMI. 

It is established in both sahth collections through al-A^mash, from Sa^ 
b. c Ubayda, from Abu c Abd al-Rahman al-Huball, from c Ali b. Abu Talib, who 
said, "The Prophet (SAAS) gave charge of an expedition to one of the awar, 
telling those men he sent with him to listen well and to obey him. For some 
reason they angered him, so he said, 'Get some firewood!' They did so. He then 
said, 'Light it!' They did so. He then said, 'Enter the fire!' The men looked at 
one another and said, 'But the only reason we fled to the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) was to avoid the fire!' His anger subsided and the fire was extinguished. 

"When they came back to the Prophet (SAAS) they related this to him 
and he said, 'If they had entered it, they would never have come out of it, for 
obedience is only in that which is good.'" 

This anecdote is also firmly established in both sahih collections, through 
Ya'la b. Musallam, from Sa'id b. Jubayr, from Ibn c Abbas. We have discussed 
this sufficiently in the Tafsir (Exegesis). And to God belong all praise and credit. 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 307 

THE<UMRATAL-QADA\ THE 'FULFILMENT PILGRIMAGE'. 

It is (also) known as al-qisas. Al-Suhayli preferred this. It is otherwise called 
c umrat al-qadiya, "the decision pilgrimage". The first name relates to fulfilment 
of what was arranged at al-Hudaybiyya. The second name is taken from the words 
of the Almighty, wa al-hurumatu qisasun, "Those things forbidden are subject 
to retaliation" (surat al-Baqara; II, v. 194). The third name comes from the 
decision he made with them based on his retiring from them that year provided 
that he would return the next, and that he would enter Mecca only with his 
sword still sheathed and that he not stay longer than three days. 

This Hitnra is the one referred to in the words of the Almighty in the sacred 
surat al-Path: "God will fulfil the true visions of His messenger: you will 
certainly enter, if God wills it, the holy mosque in safety, with your heads shaved 
and cut, not fearing" {surat al-Fatk; XL VIII, v.27). We have examined this 
verse sufficiently in our work, Tafsir (Exegesis). 

It was this that was promised in the words of the Messenger of God (SAAS). 
Responding to 'Umar b. al-Khattab's question, "Did we not say that we would 
come to the house and would circumambulate it?" he replied, "Yes indeed; 
but did I tell you you would go there this year?" "No," c Umar replied. "Well," 
he reiterated, "you will go there and you will circumambulate it." 

It was also referred to in the verses of c Abd Allah b. Rawaha when he entered 
Mecca before the Messenger of God (SAAS), the day of the ^anrat al-qada*, 
saying, 

"Unbelievers, clear out of his path; today we will 
fight you about its interpretation 

Just as we already fought you about its revelation." 

This refers to interpretation of the vision the Messenger of God (SAAS) used to 
see that came to pass like the break of day. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned from Khaybar 
to Medina, he remained there for Rabl c al-Awwal and Rabi* al-Thanl, Jumada 
al-Uwla, Jumada al-Akhira, Rajab, Sha'ban, Ramadan and Shawwal. Meanwhile, 
he sent out his various expeditions. 

"He then set forth on the Himrat al-qada?, in Dhu al-Qa^a, that same month 
when the polytheists had previously blocked his path; this was in place of the 
himra they had denied him." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "He placed 'Uwayf b. al-Adbat al-Duwall in command 
of Medina. It is also called the Himrat al-qisas because they blocked the way of 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) in Dhu al-Qa<da, the holy month of 6 AH. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) retaliated against them by entering Mecca in Dhu 
al-Qa^a, the holy month when they had blocked him, in 7 AH. We have been 
informed that Ibn c Abbas said, 'It was concerning that that God Almighty 
revealed the words, "Those things forbidden are subject to retaliation." ' " 



308 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

Mu c tamir b. Sulayman quoted his father as saying about the magkazi, the 
military expeditions, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) returned from 
Khaybar, he remained in Medina, sending out his expeditions until Dhu al-QaMa 
arrived. He then called out to the people, 'Get ready for the '■umra? They 
gathered their baggage and left for Mecca." 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Muslims whose way had been blocked went forth with 
him on that himra of his, it being 7 AH. When the Meccans heard of this, they 
kept out of their way. Quraysh meanwhile told one another that Muhammad was 
in great difficulty and distress. 

"A reliable source related to me, from c Abd Allah b. ( Abbas, who said, 'They 
lined up at the assembly hall to look at him and those with him. When the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) went inside the mosque, he tossed the hem of his 
mantle over his left shoulder, exposing his right arm and said, "May God have 
mercy upon a man who today demonstrates his strength to them." 

" 'He then saluted the al-rukn, the "corner", and came outside again, jogging, 
as did his Companions with him. He continued on until the katba concealed 
him from them; he saluted the rukn al-yaman, the "south" or "Yemen" corner. 
Then he walked on and saluted the rukn al-asmad, the "black stone" corner. 78 He 
then jogged three circuits and walked the rest.' Ibn c Abbas used to say, 'People 
used to think that this (procedure) was not incumbent upon them. They thought 
this on the grounds that the Messenger Qf God (SAAS) only did this because of 
that tribe of Quraysh and what he had heard of them, until the hijjat al~wada\ the 
"farewell pilgrimage"; the sunna, the normative Muslim practice, continued it.' " 

Al-Bukharl stated that Sulayman b. Harb related to him, quoting Hammad 
- he being Ibn Zayd - from Ayyub, from Sa c ld b. Jubayr, from Ibn c Abbas, 
who said, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived, the polytheists said, 
'Here comes a delegation of people whom the Yathrib fevers have weakened!' 
And so the Prophet (SAAS) ordered them to jog for the three courses and to walk 
between the two corners. All that prevented him telling them to jog throughout 
all the circuits was his wish to spare them (the effort)." 

Abu <Abd Allah stated, "Ibn Salama - meaning Hammad b. Salama - added, 
from Ayyub, from Sa { id, from Ibn c Abbas, that the latter said, 'When the 
Prophet (SAAS) came (to Mecca) that year when it was safe, he said, "Jog, so 
that the polytheists can see your strength. The polytheists will be positioned 
in front of Mt. Qu < ayqu c an."'" 

Muslim related this from Abu al-Rabi* al-Zahrani, from Hammad b. Zayd. 
Al-Bayhaql traced the hadith through Hammad b. Salama. 

Al-Bukhari stated that c All b. c Abd Allah related to him, quoting Sufyan, 
quoting Ismail b. Abu Khalid, (who said) that he heard Ibn Abu Awfa say, 
"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) performed the Himra, we shielded him 
from the polytheist youngsters and from the polytheists themselves in case they 
might harm him." 

78. A black spherical stone, thought to be a meteorite; it is still embedded in a corner of the Ka l ba. 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA 5 ISMAqL IBN KATHIR 309 

There will come hereafter the rest of the commentary concerning that event. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, c Abd Allah b. Abu Bakr related to me that when the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) entered Mecca to perform that pilgrimage, <Abd Allah b. 
RawSha kept hold of his camel's halter and recited, 

"Unbelievers, clear out of his path; clear out, for 
all good is in His messenger. 

O Lord, I am a believer in his words; I know God's 
truth in accepting it 

We fought you about its interpretation, just as we 
fought you about its revelation, 

With blows that remove heads from necks and divert 
friend from friend." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "The words, 'We fought you about its interpretation' to 
the end of the lines are verses of c Ammar b. Yasir relating to a different occasion 
- meaning the battle of Siffin." Al-Suhayll stated this. 

Ibn Hisham further stated, "The proof of this is that Ibn Rawaha was 
referring only to the polytheists, who never had accepted the (fact of) revelation. 
And only those who accept the revelation would do battle over the interpretation." 

Ibn Hisham's statement is open to dispute. The hafiz al-Bayhaqi related, 
from a different line of transmission, from c Abd al-Razzaq, from Ma'mar, from 
al-Zuhrl, from Anas, who said, "When the Prophet (SAAS) entered Mecca on 
the hanrat al-qada?, c Abd Allah b. Rawaha walked in front of him; in one account 
he,did so while he held his leather stirrup. As he walked, he spoke the lines, 

'Unbelievers, clear out of his path; the al-Rahman, 
the Most Merciful, has given revelation in revealing 
it; 

That the best fight is in His cause; we have fought 
you over its interpretation.'" 

In another version, with precisely the same chain of transmission, the words are, 

"Unbelievers, clear out of his path; today we fight you 
over its revelation, 

With blows that will remove heads from necks and divert 
friend from friend. 

O Lord, I believe in what he says." 

Ytinus b. Bukayr stated, from Hisham b. Sa<d, from Zayd b. Aslam, that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) entered Mecca the year of al-qadiya, the ( umra in 
question, and circumambulated the ka l ba mounted on his camel. He saluted 
the al-rukn, "the corner (with the Black Stone)", using his staff. Regarding this, 
R>n Hisham said, "He did so not due to any illness, while the Muslims were 
crowding around him, and ( Abd Allah b. Rawaha was reciting, 



3 1 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

'In the name of Him besides whose religion there is 
none, in the name of Him whose messenger is 
Muhammad, 

Clear out of his path, unbelievers!'" 

Musa b. c Uqba stated, from al-Zuhrl as follows, "Then the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) went forth the year following that of al-Hudaybiyya on the himra 
pilgrimage, in Dhu al~Qa<da of 7 AH, This was the same month that the 
polytheists blocked him from entry to the sacred mosque. When he reached 
Ya'jij, he laid down all their weapons - leather shields, armour, spears and 
arrows. They then entered carrying the swords borne by mounted men. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) sent Ja<far b. Abu Talib on ahead of himself to 
Maymuna, daughter of al-Harith, the al-'Amiri woman, and proposed marriage 
to her. She appointed al- c Abbas in charge of her affairs; his wife, Umm al-Fadl, 
daughter of al-Harith, was her sister. Al- c Abbas then agreed to her marriage 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS). 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived, he ordered his Companions, 
'Uncover your shoulders, and be vigorous as you circumambulate.' This was 
so that the polytheists would see their skin, and their strength. He outwitted 
them all he could. The people of Mecca, men, women, and children, gathered 
around him, staring at the Messenger Of God (SAAS) and his Companions, as 
they circumambulated the kcfiba. Meanwhile, ( Abd Allah b. Rawaha walked 
ahead of him, speaking verse and brandishing his sword, saying, 

'Unbelievers, clear out of his path; I am a witness 
that he is His messenger; 

The al-Rahman, the Most Merciful, sent down about His 
revelation, in sheets that are recited to His messenger. 

Today we will fight you over its interpretation, as we 
fought you over its revelation, 

With blows that will remove heads from necks and divert 
friend from friends.' 

"Some polytheist chiefs remained away rather than look on with anger, 
resentment and envy towards the Messenger of God (SAAS). They went off to 
Mt. al-Khandayna. The Messenger of God (SAAS) remained in Mecca for three 
nights, at which point the period of safe access agreed upon at al-Hudaybiyya 
ended. 

"When morning of the 4th day came, Suhayj b. c Amr and Huwaytib b. 
c Abd al-'Uzza arrived, while the Messenger of God (SAAS) was seated with 
his Companions, conferring with Sa'd b. 'Ubada. Huwaytib b. <Abd al-^Jzza 
shouted, 'We invoke God and the pact to you, because you have not left our land 
and the three nights are over!' Sa'd b. c Ubada replied, 'You lie, may you have no 
mother! It is not your land, nor that of your forefathers. By God, he will not 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA> ISMA C IL IBN KATHIR 3 1 1 

leave!' The Messenger of God (SAAS) then called out to Suhayl and Huwaytib, 
saying, 'I have arranged marriage with one of your women. It will not harm 
you for me to stay until I consummate the marriage with her. We can prepare 
food and you can eat with us.' They replied, 'We will insist on invoking God 
and the pact unless you leave us.' 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) gave orders to Abu Rafi c and he announced 
the departure. The Messenger of God (SAAS) rode off and halted in the 
valley of Saraf. The other Muslims had remained behind; the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) had entrusted Abu Rafi ( with bringing Maymuna. He stayed at Saraf 
until Maymuna arrived to him there. Maymuna had been caused great distress 
and been harmed by the foolish polytheists and their children. When she arrived 
to the Messenger of God (SAAS), at Saraf, he consummated his marriage with 
her. Thereafter, at night, he travelled on and reached Medina. 

"God decreed that Maymuna's death should occur at a later day at Saraf; 
she died where the Messenger of God (SAAS) had consummated marriage 
with her." 

He then went on to relate the story of the daughter of Hamza and concluded 
by saying, "God, Almighty and Glorious is He, revealed concerning that Himra, 
the words, 'The holy month for the holy month, and the things forbidden 
are subject to retaliation.'" The Messenger of God (SAAS) had made the 
pilgrimage in that same holy month in which they had blocked his path. 

Ibn Lahi'a related from Abu al-Aswad, from "Urwa b. al-Zubayr approximately 
this same text, which is further substantiated by numerous witnesses in many 
ahadith. 

In the sahih collection of al-Bukharl it is stated, through Fulayh b. Sulayman, 
from Nafi c , from Ibn c Umar, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) went out to 
make the Himra pilgrimage, but the Quraysh unbelievers blocked his path to 
the ka l ba. He made sacrifice and shaved his head at al-Hudaybiyya and made a 
pact with them that they would make the Himra the following year; the only arms 
(the Muslims) would bear would be swords and he would remain only so long 
as they agreed. 

He did perform the Himra the following year and entered it in accord with 
the pact he had made. After he had been there for three days, they told him to 
leave, and he did so. 

Al-Waqidl stated, "<Abd Allah b. Nafi c related to me, from his father, 
from Ibn c Umar, who said, 'This pilgrimage was not retaliatory but accorded 
with the conditions placed upon the Muslims; that in exchange they would 
perform the Himra in that same month that the polytheists had previously 
blocked them.'" 

Abu Da'ud stated, "Al-Nufayll related to me, quoting Muhammad b. Salama, 
from Muhammad b. Ishaq, from 'Amr b. Maymun (who said), 'I heard Abo 
Hadir al-Himyari relate that Maymun b. Muhran said, "I went out to make the 



3 1 2 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

himra pilgrimage the year the Syrians besieged Ibn al-Zubayr in Mecca. Men 
of my tribe sent some animals with me for sacrifice. 

"'When we encountered the Syrians, they prevented us from going inside 
the sacred area. So I sacrificed the animals where I was, performed the other 
pilgrimage rites and then returned home. When I went out the following year to 
complete the Himra, I went to see Ibn c Abbas and I asked him and he replied, 
"You should change the animals for sacrifice; the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
ordered his Companions to sacrifice different animals than they had in the year 
of al-Hudaybiyya on the Himrat al-qadtt?"'''''' 

Abu Da'ud was alone in giving this, from a hadith of Abu Hadir 'Uthman 
b. Hadir al-Himyari, from Ibn ( Abbas. 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql stated, "Al-Hakim narrated to us, quoting al-Asamm, 
quoting Ahmad b. c Abd al-Jabbar, quoting Yunus b. Bukayr, from Ibn Ishaq, 
who said, ' c Amr b. Maymun related to me as follows, "My father used to ask 
often, 'Did the Messenger of God (SAAS) change the animals he sacrificed 
when the polytheists blocked him from the katbaV He never got any information 
on this until I heard him ask Abu Hadir al-Himyari about that and he told him, 
'You've found an expert! I went on the pilgrimage the first year Ibn al-Zubayr 
was engaged in the siege. I was given some animals to sacrifice, but they (the 
Syrians) came between us and the ka c ba. So I slaughtered them in the sacred 
area and returned to Yemen where I told people, "I have in the Messenger of 
God an example!" The following year I again went on the Htmra; I encountered 
Ibn 'Abbas and asked him whether or not I should change the animals for 
sacrifice. He replied, "Yes; do change. The Messenger of God (SAAS) and his 
Companions did change the sacrificial animals from those they slaughtered when 
the polytheists blocked their path to different ones on the Himrat al-qadW. They 
found camels expensive for them, and the Messenger of God (SAAS) gave them 
permission to sacrifice cattle." "" " 

Al-Waqidl stated, "Ghanim b. Abu Ghanim related to me, from c Abd Allah b. 
Dinar, from Ibn ^Umar, who said, 'The Messenger of God (SAAS) appointed 
Najiyya b. Jundab al-Aslaml in charge of the animals to be sacrificed. He would 
go on ahead searching for fodder among the trees, accompanied by four young 
men of Aslam. The Messenger of God (SAAS) took out 60 head on the Himrat 
al-qadiyyar" 1 

Muhammad b. Nu c aym al-Mujammir related to me, from his father, from 
Abu Hurayra, who said, "I was with the man in charge of the sacrificial animals, 
driving them." 

Al-Waqidl stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) went forth reciting 
Labbayka\ 'I am at Your service!' and the Muslims with him recited the same. 
Muhammad b. Maslama went on with the cavalry to Marr al-Zahran, where he 
encountered a few men of Quraysh. They asked Muhammad b. Maslama some 
questions and he replied, 'This is the Messenger of God (SAAS); he will arrive 
at this place tomorrow morning, if God wills it.' They (the Quraysh) noticed that 



IMAM ABU AL-FID A' ISMA <IL IBN KATHI R 313 

Bashlr b. Sa^d had many weapons with him and so they left in a hurry and went 
to Quraysh whom they informed of the weapons and cavalry they had seen. 
Quraysh were scared by this. They told one another that they had not stirred up 
any trouble and they were maintaining their pact of a truce, and they wondered 
why the Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men were attacking them. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) made a halt at Marr al-Zahran. He sent on 
the weapons to the Ya'jij valley, from where they could see the stones marking 
the limits of the sacred territory. Quraysh sent out Mikraz b. Hafs b. al-Ahnaf 
with a party of Quraysh and they encountered him at the valley of Ya'jij; the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) was there with his men having met up with the 
animals to be slaughtered and the weapons. The Quraysh asked, 'Muhammad, 
you've never been known to break your word for any excuse, whether the issue 
is major or minor; are you now entering the sacred territory with your men 
bearing arms, even though you agreed to enter only with weapons such as 
travellers carry, swords in sheaths?' The Prophet (SAAS) replied, 'I will not 
bring in weapons against them.' Mikraz b. Hafs commented, 'This is what you 
are known for - piety and trustworthiness.' He then hurried back to Mecca with 
his Companions. 

"When Mikraz b. Hafs brought the news of the Prophet (SAAS), Quraysh 
left Mecca for the mountain heights. As they left Mecca, they told one another 
that they would not look at him or his Companions. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS), ordered the animals for slaughter to be 
driven ahead and they were corralled at Dhu Tuwa. The Messenger of God 
(SAAS) then went on with his men; he was riding his camel at-Qaswa and they 
kept their eyes on him, calling out Labbaykal 'At Your service, O Lord!' and 
brandishing their swords. When they arrived at Dhu Tuwa, he stood up on his 
mount al-Qaswa 3 , while Ibn Rawaha took its reins and spoke lines of impromptu 
poetry, saying, 

'Unbelievers, clear out of his path.'" 

In both sahih collections there is a hadith from Ibn c Abbas in which he stated, 
"The Messenger of God (SAAS) and his men arrived in the morning of the 
4th - meaning of Dhu al-Qa^a, 7 AH - and the polytheists said, 'A delegation 
is approaching you who have been rendered weak by the fevers of Yathrib.' So 
the Messenger of God (SAAS) ordered his men to jog for the three circuits 
and to walk between the two corners. All that prevented him having them jog 
throughout all the circuits was his wish to spare them (the effort)." 

Imam Ahmad stated, "Muhammad b. al-Sabah related to us, quoting Isma c ll 
b. Zakariyya', from c Abd Allah b. tlthman, from Abu al-Tufayl, from Ibn 
c Abbas, (who said) that when the Messenger of God (SAAS) halted at Marr 
al-Zahran on his c umra, his men learned that Quraysh were saying, 'They'll 
never recover from their emaciation.' His Companions told him, 'If we were to 
butcher our mounts and eat their meat and sip soup made from them, we'd gain 



3 1 4 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

some strength for when we go out among people tomorrow.' He replied, 'No; 
don't do that; gather up all the provisions you have.' They did so, spread out 
the scraps of food and ate until satisfied; each of them stuffed the remainder in 
their bags. 

"The Messenger of God (SAAS) then went out and entered the mosque, 
while Quraysh squatted over towards the Black Stone. He gathered up the 
left sleeve of his gown, then said, 'Do not let the enemy see any insufficiency in 
you.' He saluted the rukn, the corner, ran until hidden behind the south corner, 
then walked to the rukn al-aswad, the corner with the Black Stone. Quraysh 
commented, 'They're not satisfied with walking; they race around like gazelles!' 
He did this for three circuits and it became sunna, orthodox practice." 

Abu al-Tufayl went on, "Ibn 'Abbas informed me that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) also did this on the hijjat al~wada\ 'the farewell pilgrimage'." 

Ahmad is alone in giving this hadith through this line. 

Abu Da°Qd stated that Abu Salama Musa related to him, quoting Hammad 
— meaning Ibn Salam - quoting Abu 'Asim al-Ghanawi, from Abu al-Tufayl, 
who said, "I commented to Ibn 'Abbas, 'So your people say that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) ran at the ka c ba, and that that practice is sunna, "customary 
orthodox practice".' He replied, 'They both spoke the truth and lied.' 'What was 
true and what lies?' I asked. He replied, 'They did speak the truth when they 
said that the Messenger of God (SAAS) ran. They also lied; it is not sunna. At 
the time of al-Hudaybiyya, Quraysh said, "Let Muhammad and his Companions 
alone until they die of worms!" Then they made a truce on the understanding 
that he would return the following year and stay in Mecca for three days. When 
he came, the polytheists went over towards Mt. Qu c ayqi t an. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) told his Companions, "Run three times at the ka'-ba. But that is 
notwma."' 1 ' 

Muslim related this from a hadith of Sa'ld al-Jariri, c Abd Allah b. 'Abd 
al-Rahman b. Abu Husayn and c Abd al-Malik b. Sa c ld b. Abjar, all three of them 
quoting Abu Tufayl 'Amir b. Wathila, from Ibn 'Abbas, in much the same words. 

The act of running while circumambulating is considered sunna by most 
scholars. The Messenger of God (SAAS) did run during the Himrat al-qada 1 , 
and also at the '■umrat al-Jf-rana, as Abu Da'ud and Ibn Maja related, from a 
hadith of 'Abd Allah b. IJthman b. Khuthaym, from Abu al-Tufayl, from Ibn 
'Abbas, who so stated. 

It is clearly established in the hadith of Jabir given by Muslim and others, 
that the Messenger of God (SAAS) ran at the hijjat al~wada c , the "farewell 
pilgrimage", as he made the circumambulations. This is why c Umar b. al-Khattab 
stated, "Why run, when God has made Islam long-lasting?" However, we should 
not abandon any practice performed by the Messenger of God (SAAS). This is 
fully substantiated in my book kitab al-Ahkam. 

It is very well known that Ibn 'Abbas did not consider this practice sunna, as 
is substantiated in both sahih collections, from a hadith of Sufyan b. IJyayna, 



IMAM ABO AL-FIDA' ISMA <IL IBN KATHIR 3 1 5 

from c Amr b. Dinar, from c Ata>, from Ibn c Abbas, who said, "The Prophet 
(SAAS) only hurried at the ka'ba, al-Safa and al-Marwa to demonstrate his 
strength to the polytheists." 

This is the terminology given by al-Bukhari. 

Al-Waqidi stated, "When the Messenger of God (SAAS) had finished his 
duties at the Htmrat al-qada*, he went inside the ka c ba. He remained inside until 
Bilal, from atop the kapha's roof, made the call to the al-zuhr, noon, prayer; the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) had given him orders to do this. Ikrima b. Abu Jahl 
commented, 'God honoured Abu al-Hakam" by not having him hear this slave 
say what he is saying!' S a f wan b. Umayya said, 'Praise be to God who took away 
my father before he saw this!' Khalid b. Usayd agreed, 'Praise be to God who 
took the life of my father so that he did not witness this day when Bilal climbs 
on top of the ka l ba and brays!' Suhayl b. Vmar and the men with him covered 
their faces when they heard this." 

The hafiz, al-Bayhaqi stated, "God honoured most of them with Islam." 

I note that the hafiz al-Bayhaqi narrated this through al-Waqidi to the effect 
that this took place on the Himrat al-Qada*, even though it is well-known that 
this happened in the year of the conquest of Mecca. But God knows best. 

The Story of the Marriage of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
to Maymuna. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "Aban b. Salih and c Abd Allah b. Abu Najih related to me, 
from <Ata> and Mujahid, from Ibn 'Abbas, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
married Maymuna, daughter of al-Harith, on that journey of his when he 
was haram, in a state of ritual purity. It was al- c Abbas b. c Abd al-Muttalib who 
married him to her." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "She had appointed her sister, Umm al-Fadl, to represent 
her and she in turn entrusted the task to her husband al- ( Abbas. It was he who 
married her to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and gave her from him a dowry of 
400 dirhams." 

Al-Suhayll reported that when the proposal of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
reached her, she was mounted on a camel. She said, "Both the camel and what 
is on it belong to the Messenger of God (SAAS)." 

He also stated, "It was about her that the verse was revealed, '(We have made 
lawful to you) a believing woman! If she gives herself to the Prophet, if the 
Prophet wished to marry her. This provision is only for you, apart from all the 
believers.'" (surat al-Ahzab; XXXIII, v.50). 

Al-Bukhari related on a line of transmission through Ayyub, from ^krima, 
from Ibn c Abbas, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) married Maymuna while 
muhrim, in a state of ritual conservation. When he consummated marriage with 
her, he was halal, free of the ihram. She died at Saraf. Al-Suhayli stated and 

79. That is, the speaker's father, Abu Jahl, killed at Badr.- 



316 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

al-Darqutnl related through Abu al-Aswad, the orphan of ^rwa, and through 
Matar al-Warraq, from Ikrima, from Ibn c Abbas, to the effect that the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) married Maymuna while halal. 

He said, "And they interpreted the first version of the account from Ibn 
■Abbas - that the Messenger of God (SAAS) was muhrim, 'in a ritual state', to 
mean that it was in the holy month. As a poet said, 

'They killed Ibn c Affan, the Khalifa, when he was 
muhrim and prayed; and I never saw the like of him 
abandoned.' 80 

"That is, this occurred in the holy month." 

I note that this interpretation is open to dispute, because the accounts from 
Ibn c Abbas contrary to that predominate, especially since he said, "He married 
her while he was muhrim and consummated marriage with her when he was 
halal." This also occurred in the month of Dhu al-QaMa, another holy month. 

Muhammad b. Yahya al-Dhuhli stated that c Abd al-Razzaq related to him, 
"Ai-Thawrl said to me, 'No attention should be paid to the words of the people 
of Medina. c Amr informed me, from Abu al-Sha c tha>, from Ibn c Abbas, that the 
Messenger of God (SAAS) married while muhrim.'''''' 

Abu c Abd Allah stated that he told <Abd al-Razzaq, "Sufyan related both 
ahadith from c Amr, from Abu al-Sha'tha*, from Ibn c Abbas and Ibn Khuthaym, 
from Sa c id b. Jubayr, from Ibn c Abbas, who said, 'Yes; regarding the hadtth of 
Ibn Khaytham, he related it here' — meaning in al-Yaman. 'Regarding the hadtth 
of c Amr, he related it there' — meaning in Mecca." 

Both authors of the sahih collections included this tradition, from c Amr b. 
Dinar. 

In the sahih collection of al-Bukharl, through al-Awza'I, it states, "^Ata? related 
to us, from Ibn ^bbas, that the Messenger of God (SAAS) married Maymuna 
while muhrim" Sa^d b. al-Mussayyib stated, "Ibn c Abbas made a mistake, even 
though she was his aunt; he did not marry her until after he had become halal." 

Yunus stated, from Ibn Ishaq, "Baqiyya quoted Sa c id b. al-Musayyib as 
having said, 'This c Abd Allah b. c Abbas claimed that the Messenger of God 
(SAAS) married Maymuna while he was muhrim' . And he (Sa 5 ld) went on to 
relate what he had said. He (Sa'id) continued, 'However, when the Messenger of 
God (SAAS) went on to Mecca, both the hill %l , and the marriage were at the 
same time. Ibn c Abbas was confused about this.'" 

Muslim and the ahl al-sunan related from lines of transmission from Yazld 
b. al-Asamm al- c Amirl, from his aunt Muymuna, daughter of al-Harith, who 
said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) married me while we were both halal, at 
Saraf." However, al-Tirmidhl stated, "Several authorities related this hadtth 

80. This refers to the assassination of 'Uthman; his death is said to have come while he was in 
prayer. 

81. The state of being halal. 



IMAM ABD AL-FIDA 1 ISMA'IL IBN KATHIR 3 17 

regarding the marriage of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to Maymuna, from 
Yazld b. al-Asamm mursal, 'with an incomplete chain of transmission'." 

The hafiz al-Bayhaql stated that the hafiz Abu c Abd Allah informed him, 
quoting Abu <Abd Allah Muhammad b. £ Abd Allah al-Asfahani al-Zahid, quoting 
Ismail b. Ishaq al-Qadl, quoting Sulayman b. Harb, quoting Hammad b. Zayd, 
quoting Matar al-Warraq, from Rabl^ b. Abu c Abd al-Rahman, from Sulayman 
b. Yasar, from Abu Rafi^ who said, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) married 
Maymuna while he was halal and he consummated the marriage when he was 
kalal. I was the messenger between them." 

Both al-Tirmidhl and al-Nasa 5 ! related this, from Qutayba, from Hammad b. 
Yazld. Al-Tirmidhi went on to state, "It is hasan, 'good'; we know of no other 
authority who gave its line from Hammad, from Matar." Malik related it from 
Rabl'a, from Sulayman, but as mursal, incomplete in its chain". 

And Sulayman b. Bilal related it from Rabi<a, as mursal. 

I note that her death came at Saraf in 63 AH, or, according to others, in 60 AH. 
May God be pleased with her. 



An Account of the departure of the Messenger of God (SAAS) 
from Mecca after the completion of his Htmra pilgrimage. 

It has been narrated above by Musa b. 'Uqba how Quraysh sent Huwaytib b. 
c Abd al-'Uzza to the Messenger of God (SAAS) four days later so that he would 
leave, as had been stipulated in the agreement. He offered to hold a feast for 
them in honour of his marriage to Maymuna, his only purpose having been 
to reconcile with them thereby. They refused him, telling him to leave. And he 
did. Ibn Ishaq related it similarly. 

Al-Bukhari stated that c Ubayd Allah b. Musa related to him, from Isra'll, from 
Abu Ishaq, from al-Bara°, who said, "The Prophet (SAAS) made the Himra 
pilgrimage in Dhu al-Qa^da. The people of Mecca refused to invite him to 
enter Mecca until he compacted with them that he would stay there three days. 
When they drew up the document, they wrote, 'This is what Muhammad, 
the Messenger of God, has agreed.' They (the Meccans) commented, 'We don't 
agree to this. If we knew you to be God's messenger, we would not have opposed 
you at all. You are, however, Muhammad, son of c Abd Allah.' He stated, 'I 
am the Messenger of God, and I am Muhammad, the son of <Abd Allah.' He 
then told "All b. Abu Talib, 'Erase the words "Messenger of God".' He replied, 
'No, by God, I'll not erase you, ever!' The Messenger of God (SAAS) then took 
the document - he could not write well - and wrote, 'This is what Muhammad, 
son of c Abd Allah, has agreed to. No weapons will enter Mecca except swords 
in sheaths. And he will not take away any one of its people who wishes to 
follow him. Also, he will not prevent any of his men from staying if they wish 
to do so.' 



3 1 8 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

"When he did enter and the period for the stay was over, they came to c All 
and said, 'Tell your master to leave us, since the time is over.' The Prophet 
(SAAS) therefore went to leave, but he was followed by Hamza's daughter calling 
out, 'Uncle.' Uncle!' c All toot her by the hand and told Fatima, 'Take care of 
your cousin.' She carried her away. c Ali, Zayd and Ja c far then began quarrelling 
over her. c Ali said, 'I should take her; she is my uncle's daughter.' Ja*far said, 
'She's the daughter of my uncle too, and her aunt is my wife.' Zayd said, 'She's 
my brother's daughter.' The Messenger of God (SAAS) decided that she should 
go with her aunt, saying, 'An aunt has the same standing as a mother.' He 
then said to c Ali, 'You are from me, and I am from you.' To Ja c far, he said, 'You 
resemble me in appearance and character.' To Zayd, he said, 'You are our 
brother and our companion.' c Ali then asked, 'Will you not marry Hamza's 
daughter?' He replied, 'She is the daughter of my foster-brother.'" 

Al-Bukharl alone gives this hadith with this line of transmission. 

Al-W^qidl narrated the story of Hamza's daughter. He stated, "Ibn Umm 
Habiba related to me, from Da'ud b. al-Husayn, from c Ikrima, from Ibn ^Abbas, 
that "Umara, daughter of Hamza b. c Abd al-Muttalib and her mother Salma, 
daughter of 'Umays, were at Mecca. 

"When the Messenger of God (SAAS) arrived c All b. Abu Talib spoke with 
him, saying, 'How can we abandon the daughter of our uncle, an orphan, amidst 
the polytheists?' The Prophet (SAAS) did not forbid bringing her out, and he 
(^All) did so. Zayd b. Haritha, the wast, the executor, of Hamza, now spoke 
up; the Prophet (SAAS) had made Zayd and Hamza brothers when he had 
established brotherly relationships between the emigrants (and the ansar). Zayd 
said, 'I have the greater right to her; she is my brother's daughter.' When Ja'far 
heard that^ he said, 'An aunt is (as) a mother. I have more right to her because 
her aunt, Asma 5 , daughter of TJmays, is with me.' c All commented, 'Do I really 
see you fighting? She is my uncle's daughter and I brought her out from among 
the polytheists. You have no claim better than mine; I have more right to her 
than you do.' The Prophet (SAAS) said, 'I will judge between you. As for you, 
Zayd, you are the agent of God and of His messenger. You, Ja c far, are similar to 
me as my features and my disposition. You, Ja'far, have most right to her; your 
wife is her maternal aunt, and a woman cannot be wed along with her maternal 
or her paternal aunt.' And he judged that she should go to Jafar." 

Al-Waqidi stated, "When he awarded her to Ja'far, Ja c far arose and skipped 
around the Messenger of God (SAAS). The latter asked, 'What's this then, 
Jafar?' He replied, 'Messenger of God, whenever the Negus was pleased with 
someone, he would get up and skip around him.' Then he said to the Prophet 
(SAAS), 'You marry her.' He replied, 'She's the daughter of my foster-brother.' 
So the Messenger of God (SAAS) married her to Salama b. Abu Salama. The 
Messenger of God (SAAS) used to say, 'Did I reward Abu Salama?'" 



IMAM ABU AL-FIDA' ISMAIL IBN KATHIR 319 

I note that al-Waqidl and others report that it was because he had arranged 
the marriage of the Messenger of God (SAAS) to his mother, Umm Salama. 
This was because he was older than his brother ^Umar b. Abu Salama. 

Ibn Ishaq stated, "The Messenger of God (SAAS) returned to Medina in Dhu 
al-Hijja, and the polytheists were in charge of that pilgrimage (that year)." 

Ibn Hisham stated, "It was regarding that Htmra, so Abu ^Ubayda related 
to me, that the words of the Almighty were revealed, 'God will fulfil the true 
visions of His messenger: you will certainly enter, if God will it, the holy mosque 
in safety, with your heads shaven or shorn, not fearing. He knew what you 
did not know and vouchsafed for you a victory close at hand'" 82 (silrat al-Fath; 
XL VIII, v.27). 

Division. 

Al-Bayhaqi related here the expedition of Ibn Abu al-'Awja 5 al-Sulaml to Banu 
Sulaym. 

He then traced the line of transmission from al-Waqidl, "Muhammad b. c Abd 
Allah b. Muslim related to me, from al-Zuhrl, who said, 'The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) returned from the himrat al-qadiya in Dhu al-Hijja, 7, AH. He 
then sent forth Ibn Abu al- c Awja 5 al-Sulaml along with 50 horsemen. But the 
scout sent out by that tribe warned them and gave them information. They 
gathered a large force and so when Ibn Abu al-^Awja 5 came to them, they were 
well prepared. When the men of the Messenger of God (SAAS) saw their force, 
they invited them to accept Islam. The enemy pelted them with arrows, refusing 
to listen to them, saying, "We don't need what you're offering." They shot at 
them for a while then called up reinforcements that overlooked them (the 
Muslims) from all sides. The (Muslim) force fought fiercely until most of them 
had been killed. Ibn Abu al-'Awja 1 suffered numerous wounds. He withstood 
his pain and returned to Medina with his remaining men, arriving there on the 
lstofSafar,8AH."' 

Division. 

Al-Waqidl stated, "In the pilgrimage of that year - that is, 7 AH - the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) returned his daughter Zaynab to her husband Abu al- c As b. 
al-Rabl*. We have made reference to this above. That same year Hatib b. Abu 
Balta^ arrived from having been with al-Muqawqis; with him were Mariyya, 
and Sinn. They both accepted Islam en route, as did a eunuch." 

Al-Waqidl went on, "That same year, the Messenger of God (SAAS) adopted 
as his minbar a seat above two steps." He went on, "However, what we are certain 
is that he did this in 8 AH." 

82. This is in reference to the conquest of Khaybar. 



320 THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

IN THE NAME OF GOD THE MOST MERCIFUL, THE MOST 
COMPASSIONATE. O LORD, GIVE RELIEF AND HELP THROUGH 
YOUR POWER AND STRENGTH! THE YEAR 8 AH. THE ACCEPTANCE 
OPISLAMBY'AMR B. AL- C AS, KHALID B. AL-WALID AND WTHMAN 
B. TALHA B. ABU TALIB, MAY GOD BE PLEASED WITH THEM ALL. 

Their arrival occurred early in 8 AH, according to what follows. 

Part of this has been referred to heretofore in the account given by Ibn Ishaq 
following the execution of Abu Rafi c , the Jew; this took place in 5 AH. 

However, the hafiz al-Bayhaqi gave this information here, following his 
account of the Himrat al-qads?. He narrated through al-Waqidi, " c Abd al-Hamid 
b. Ja c far informed us, from his father (who said) that c Amr b. aI- c As stated, 'I 
was stubbornly opposed to Islam. I was present at Badr with the polytheists and 
escaped. Then I was present at Uhud and escaped. Finally I was present at 
al-khandaq and escaped. 

'"I told myself, "What suffering! I swear by God, may Muhammad prevail 
over Quraysh!" So I took my assets and moved to al-Raht. And I diminished my 
contacts with people. When the al-Hudaybiyya pact was agreed and the Messenger 
of God (SAAS) left in peace and Quraysh returned to Mecca, I began saying, 
"So Muhammad is going to come to Mecca with his men; Mecca is no place to 
be in, nor is al-Ta'if. The best thing to do is to leave." I was then still hostile 
to Islam. I think that if all Quraysh accepted Islam, I would not do so, 

"'I went to Mecca and gathered together some men of my tribe who saw 
things as I did, repeated my views and sought my advice in matters concerning 
them. I asked them, "How am I in your view?" They replied, "As our adviser 
and our protector, a man of fine character and wise decision."' 

"He went on, 'I then told them, "You well know, by God, that I consider this 
matter of Muhammad as serious and reprehensible; I have reached a decision." 
"What is that?" they asked. "We should go and join the Negus", I told them, 
"and live with him. If Muhammad prevails, we will be there with the Negus; and 
we would be far better off under his control than under that of Muhammad. And 
if Quraysh prevail, they already know us well." 

"'"This is the right decision (they responded)." I told them, "Then gather 
up presents for him." The gift he most appreciated from our land was leather. 
So we gathered much leather for him, then left and went to the Negus. While we 
were there, who should arrive but ( Amr b. Umayya al-Damrl. The Messenger of 
God (SAAS) had sent him with a document he had prepared marrying him to 
Umm Hablba, daughter of Abu Sufyan. He went in to see the Negus and then 
came out again. I told my companions, "That is c Amr b. Umayya al-Damrl. If I 
had gone in to the Negus and asked him for him, and he had given him to me 
and I had cut off his head, then Quraysh would have been delighted and I would 
have been rewarded for killing Muhammad's emissary." 

"'I did go in to the Negus and bowed down before him as I was accustomed 
to do. He said, "Welcome to my friend! Have you brought something as a gift 



IMAM ABO AL FIDA> ISMA<IL IBN KATHIR 321 

for me from your country?" "Yes, king," I told him. "I have much better 
leather to give to you." I then presented it to him and he was delighted. Some of 
it he distributed to his generals and the rest he had stored away and had a record 
of it written and kept. 

"'When I saw he was in a good mood, I asked, "Your majesty, I just noticed a 
man leaving your presence. He is the messenger from an enemy of ours. He has 
caused us much trouble and has killed some of our leaders and best men. Please 
hand him over to me, so that I may kill him." He became angry at this, raised 
his fist and brought it down so hard on my nose that I thought he had broken 
it. My nostril soon flowed with blood that dripped oh to my clothing. I felt so 
humiliated I wished the earth would open up and swallow me. 

" 'I eventually said, "Your majesty, if I had known you would be upset at what 
I said, I would not have asked you."' 

"He went on, 'He then became embarrassed and said, " c Amr, how could you 
ask me to hand over to you for execution the messenger of the man to whom the 
al-namus al-akbar, the Archangel Gabriel, comes, just as he did to Moses and to 
Jesus?"' 

" ( Amr went on, 'God then changed my attitude from the way it had been, and 
I asked myself, "When the Arabs and non-Arabs alike recognize this truth, how 
can you oppose it?" I then said to the Negus, "Your majesty, do you really testify 
to that?" "I so testify to God, < Amr," he replied. "Obey me and follow him. I 
swear by God that he is right and that he will definitely prevail over those who 
oppose him, just as Moses prevailed over Pharoah and his armies." 

'"I asked him, "Will you accept my allegiance to him in Islam?" "Yes," he 
replied. He then stretched forth his hands and accepted my allegiance. He called 
for someone to bring a wash basin and the blood was washed from me and he 
presented me with garments in which to dress. My own clothing was soaked in 
blood and I cast it aside. Then I went out to my companions and when they saw 
the garments from the Negus they were delighted. They asked, "Did you receive 
what you wanted from your friend?" I told them, "I was reluctant to talk about 
it with him on the first occasion; I told him I would come back." "We agree with 
that," they said.' 

" c Amr went on, 'So I left them, as if I had something specific to do and made 
my way to where the boats were moored. I found one ship that was loaded and 
about to leave. I embarked with them and they sailed it away to al-Shu'ba, where 
I went ashore, carrying my money. I bought a camel and headed for Medina, 
passing by Marr al-Zahran. I then went on until I reached al~Hadda, where I